Big Ten

Second-half run sends Huskers past Rutgers

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Second-half run sends Huskers past Rutgers

INDIANAPOLIS — It wasn't one of the more anticipated games of the Big Ten Tournament — that'll happen on Day 1 of a 14-team tournament — but Nebraska provided some second-half fireworks in its matchup with Rutgers.

The Huskers used a 17-2 run in the second half to blow past the Scarlet Knights, 89-72, on Wednesday night. The win sent Nebraska to a Day 2 showdown with No. 6-seed Wisconsin.

Nebraska was ahead by just four at halftime against a Rutgers team that won just once during the 18-game Big Ten regular season. The Huskers forced 11 first-half turnovers, but the Knights cancelled that damage out with 48.1-percent shooting over the first 20 minutes.

Rutgers actually tied the game not long into the second half, a Corey Sanders 3-pointer knotting the score at 43. But from there, Nebraska ran away and hid, using a 17-2 run to turn a tie game into a 15-point advantage. The Knights went almost six minutes without a made basket as the Huskers built their big lead, one that never again reached single digits and grew as big as 19 before game's end.

Nebraska shot 52.9 percent from the field over the game's final 20 minutes, going 4-for-7 from 3-point range in the second half. Shavon Shields scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, coming close to a second-half double-double with nine rebounds after halftime. Ed Morrow Jr. scored 10 second-half points in just seven minutes.

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The Huskers scored 27 points off 17 Knights turnovers on the game, also holding a massive 48-32 edge in points in the paint. Nebraska finished with a 47.1-percent shooting effort and scored 18 of their points via the fastbreak.

Shields' 20-point performance was his third such game in his last four since returning from a four-game injury absence. He was one of five Nebraska players in double figures. Tai Webster scored 18 points, Andrew White III scored 16 points, Michael Jacobson scored 14 points and Morrow had 10 points.

Mike Williams led Rutgers with his 14 points. Bishop Daniels scored 13 points, Omari Grier scored 12 points and Sanders added 10.

The Huskers' win snapped a five-game losing streak that ended the regular season. Their record sits at 15-17 overall and 7-12 against Big Ten opponents. Nebraska gets Wisconsin, which won 11 of its final 13 regular-season games, on Day 2 of the tournament Thursday.

The Knights' season came to an end with the loss, bottoming out with a 7-25 overall record and a 1-18 mark against Big Ten foes.

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.

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.