Big Ten

Terps rout Illini with second-half 3-point barrage

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Terps rout Illini with second-half 3-point barrage

Maryland didn't exactly show its strength early against a struggling Illinois team. But going 10-for-14 from 3-point range after halftime will fix things in a hurry.

The 14th-ranked Terps' 3-point barrage was part of an outstanding offensive performance over the final 20 minutes, as they shot 66.7 percent in the second half en route to an 81-55 rout of the Fighting Illini on Thursday night in College Park.

Maryland led Illinois by 10 at the half, but neither team had much success offensively over the first 20 minutes. The Terps were just 4-for-12 from 3 and shot 44.4 percent from the field, numbers the Illini would've been real happy with considering they were 1-for-7 from 3 and shot just 34.6 percent from the field. Illinois was carried by the unlikely production of big man Maverick Morgan, who scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the first half alone. Melo Trimble and Jared Nickens combined for 15 points in the first half for Maryland.

But the Terps exploded out of the break. Three straight triples from Trimble, Jake Layman and Nickens turned an eight-point lead into a 17-point lead just a little more than four minutes into the half. Then with about 11 minutes to play, the Terps burst out on an 11-0 run — Trimble accounting for six of those points and Layman hitting another 3 — to grow the lead out to 22. The lead only got bigger as Maryland's 3s kept falling, at one point hitting 31 before the game ended with the margin at 26.

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Trimble, Layman and Robert Carter each scored in double figures in the second half alone. The Terps finished shooting 55.6 percent from the field, and their 14 made 3s were a season high. They also out-rebounded the Illini by 10 and held sizable margins in bench points and points in the paint.

Trimble and Layman each finished with 18 points, combining for 15 rebounds. Carter and Nickens each scored 14 points in the game, Nickens leading everyone with four made 3-pointers.

The Illini picked things up in the second half, too, raising their final shooting figure to 38.6 percent. Morgan ended with a career-high 21 points and recorded his first career double-double with 10 rebounds. Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 11 points, hitting a trio of 3s. Malcolm Hill finished with 10 points.

Illinois has dropped three of its last four games and watched its record fall to 13-17 overall and 5-12 in Big Ten play. The Illini wrap up their regular-season schedule with a trip to Penn State on Sunday.

Maryland, meanwhile, improved to 24-6 overall and 12-5 in conference play with the win. The Terps' final regular-season game comes Sunday at Indiana.

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.