Big Ten

Terps blow 16-point lead but still hang on to beat Michigan

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Terps blow 16-point lead but still hang on to beat Michigan

Maryland was in need of a bounce-back win following back-to-back upset defeats at the hands of Wisconsin and Minnesota. But the test Sunday was Michigan, the team that handed Maryland its first conference loss this season.

The Terps built a 16-point lead in the first half but watched that advantage disappear completely as the Wolverines roared back, grabbing several second-half leads. But in the end, Maryland got the bounce-back win it needed, getting the game's final hot streak to secure an 86-82 win in College Park.

Maryland built a big first-half lead thanks to strong defensive play and an ice-cold stretch by Michigan. The game was knotted at 12 five and a half minutes in, but the Terps exploded from there with 14 straight points, part of a larger 17-1 run by the home team. The Wolverines scored just one point and missed 13 consecutive shots over that seven-and-a-half-minute span, emerging from that long period in a 16-point hole. But Michigan responded once its shooting started to thaw and Maryland started turning the ball over. The Wolverines outscored the Terps, 23-12, over the final seven minutes of the half, slicing that 16-point deficit down to just five at the break thanks to hitting five of the last six 3-pointers it attempted.

The offenses controlled the final 20 minutes, and the two teams traded baskets out of the break, with Mark Donnal doing an incredible amount of damage for Michigan. Donnal scored 14 points in the first six minutes of the second half, putting the Wolverines on top, 56-55. But the Terps responded with an 11-2 run that included a pair of Jake Layman 3-pointers to reestablish an eight-point lead. That lead hit nine before Michigan again caught fire, using a 14-2 run that featured eight points from Donnal to build its biggest lead of the game at 75-72 with under six minutes to play. The Terps, though, punched right back with eight straight points to own a five-point lead with three minutes remaining. A big Zak Irvin triple cut the deficit to two, but Robert Carter responded with a dunk. And despite a Duncan Robinson triple to make it a two-point game in the final seconds, Maryland was able to hang on, hitting four free throws as Michigan missed two 3-point tries and a free throw and turned the ball over twice in the final two minutes.

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It was a hot-shooting day for the Terps, who shot 54.4 percent from the field on the game. The Wolverines weren't too far behind at 47.1 percent including a sterling 56.3-percent mark in the second half. Michigan made 13 3-pointers and scored 21 points off 18 Maryland turnovers, but that latter category was practically equal as the Terps turned 16 Wolverine turnovers into 20 points. Maryland also had a big free-throw advantage, going 17-for-19 from the line compared to Michigan going just 5-for-8.

Carter led four Terps in double figures with 17 points. Layman finished with 16 points, Melo Trimble had 14 and Diamond Stone had 13.

Donnal ended with 25 points, 22 of them coming in the second half. He was 10-for-13 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman finished with 16 points, Derrick Walton Jr. had 14, Irvin had 11 and Robinson had 10.

The win boosted Maryland to 23-5 overall and 11-4 in the Big Ten, holding at third place in the conference standings. Next up is a big game at Purdue on Saturday.

Michigan dropped to 19-9 overall and 9-6 in the league. Next up is a game against Northwestern on Wednesday night.

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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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.