Big Ten

Williams helps No. 22 Indiana hold off No. 17 Purdue, 77-73


Williams helps No. 22 Indiana hold off No. 17 Purdue, 77-73

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) No. 22 Indiana realized that No. 17 Purdue could make things difficult Saturday night with 7-footers A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas teaming inside with 6-9 power forward Caleb Swanigan.

The trio of Boilermakers big men combined for 39 points, but the Hoosiers countered with a 20-3 advantage on points off turnovers and made 12 3-pointers to hold on for a 77-73 victory in Assembly Hall.

''We wanted to force turnovers, and that is what we were able to do,'' Indiana coach Tom Crean said. ''We had 57 deflections tonight - Troy Williams had 13 in the first half - and that is terrific. Purdue can beat you in so many ways, but Yogi Ferrell played a tremendous game, and Troy has had a phenomenal week, especially on the defensive end.''

Williams scored 19 points, Ferrell had 18, and Max Biefeldt and Thomas Bryant each added 10. Purdue finished with 13 turnovers while Indiana committed only four.

''Their pressure bothered us, not so much inside, but on the perimeter,'' Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. ''The difference in the game was all the points they got off turnovers. It also seemed like every one of their guys made a 3-pointer.''

The Big Ten-leading Hoosiers (22-6, 12-3) improved to 16-0 this season in Assembly Hall and 17-2 in their last 19 home games against Top 25 opponents.

A goaltending call against Hammons with 7.1 seconds left gave Ferrell a field goal and the Hoosiers a four-point lead. Dakota Mathias' 3-pointer with 37 seconds to go had sliced Indiana's advantage to 75-73.

''On that last play, the lane just opened up for a layup,'' said Ferrell, who had 14 first-half points. ''If we got into the paint, we got whatever we wanted tonight. I also thought we did a great job sharing the basketball. Defensively, our guards had to help inside with their big guys.''

Purdue outrebounded Indiana 28-26, but the Boilermakers had only four offensive rebounds.

''We pretty much limited them to one shot, and that was huge for us,'' Crean said.

Indiana, which opened a 59-40 cushion in the second half on a dunk by OG Anunoby, snapped a three-game losing streak to Purdue (21-7, 9-6).

The Boilermakers are 14-0 on weeknights this season but 7-7 on Saturday or Sunday.

''Tonight, I let the game come to me,'' Williams said. ''It also helped all of us that Max made shots.''

Robert Johnson's 3-pointer - the 12th for Indiana - with 7:12 remaining gave the Hoosiers a 67-49 advantage before Purdue closed to 71-63 with 4:06 left on P.J. Thompson's 3.

Johnson injured his left leg late in the game and was being evaluated afterward.

Indiana watched the Boilermakers make seven 3-pointers during the final 10 minutes, but it was not enough.

Bryant scored the first five points of the second half, extending the Hoosiers' lead to 40-28 with 18:43 to play. Indiana continued to apply pressure, getting a 3-pointer and then a layup from Biefeldt to grab a 52-40 advantage with 11:49 remaining.

''That quick start to the second half just happened within the flow of our offense,'' Bryant said. ''We just did our best guarding their bigs.''

Indiana scored 16 points as the result of eight first-half Purdue turnovers and led 35-28 through 20 minutes.

Ferrell and Williams each scored 14 points during the first half. Hammons and Haas each had eight for Purdue.

The Boilermakers shot 61.1 percent from the field before halftime (11 of 18) but trailed by seven because of eight turnovers to one for Indiana.


Purdue: The Boilermakers reached 21 victories in their first 27 games, while last year's team did not win its 21st game until its 32nd contest. ... Before Saturday night, Purdue was 10-31 all-time in Assembly Hall but is 3-2 in its past five trips to Bloomington. ... The Boilermakers rank fourth nationally in rebound margin at plus-11.2. ... Purdue entered 12-0 this season when G Rapheal Davis scores at least 10 points. ... Reserve F Jacquil Taylor (concussion) did not travel with the team to Bloomington.

Indiana: G Nick Zeisloft has 51 3-pointers, more than any other Big Ten reserve. ... The 10 most recent Indiana-Purdue games have been decided by an average margin of 17.5 points. ... The Hoosiers had not beaten the Boilermakers since Feb. 16, 2013.

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


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


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.