Big Ten

Thomas Bryant helps No. 19 Hoosiers hold off Gophers

hoosiers-gophers-1-30-16.png

Thomas Bryant helps No. 19 Hoosiers hold off Gophers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Thomas Bryant scored a career-high 23 points Saturday to help No. 19 Indiana hang on for a 74-68 victory over Minnesota.

The Hoosiers (18-4, 8-1) barely retained their share of the Big Ten lead after blowing a 16-point second-half lead. They've won 13 of their last 14.

Minnesota (6-16, 0-10) lost its 11th straight despite getting 21 points apiece from Nate Mason and Kevin Dorsey, who led the comeback.

The Golden Gophers took a 67-66 lead with 3:54 to go, but Indiana finished the game on an 8-1 run to seal the win.

The Hoosiers led 39-27 at halftime. When they extended the lead to 48-32 early in the second half, it appeared they would coast.

Instead, the Gophers rallied. They answered with six straight points, went on an 11-4 run and took the lead when Dupree McBayer scored on a dunk.

Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell and Troy Williams each scored 13 for the Hoosiers, while Bryant finished with eight rebounds.

But this was no typical game for the surging Hoosiers.

They started slow, didn't get the lead until midway through the first half, didn't make a 3-pointer for the first 14½ minutes and couldn't close it out after taking a 16-point lead with 16:33 to play. And things got so frustrating that with 5:38 left in the game, it appeared two Hoosiers were arguing about a defensive assignment following a foul.

Mason and Dorsey, who had a career-high scoring total, took advantage of the strange night and methodically got the Gophers back into the game.

After a 6-0 scoring flurry cut the deficit to 10, Minnesota went on the 11-4 run to get within three. But after taking the lead on Dupree's dunk, Minnesota didn't score another basket.

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

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.