Big Ten

Without James Blackmon Jr., Hoosiers beat Rutgers for sixth straight win

yogi-ferrell-1230.png

Without James Blackmon Jr., Hoosiers beat Rutgers for sixth straight win

James Blackmon Jr. sat out Wednesday afternoon's game with a knee injury, but it didn't factor too much in the final result, as Indiana dispatched of Rutgers in New Jersey, 79-72, to earn its sixth straight victory.

Blackmon's absence was noticeable early, as his nearly 16 points a game were visibly missed while the Hoosiers struggled to keep the Scarlet Knights down. Indiana blew a 12-point lead as Rutgers closed the first half on a 16-4 run, scoring the half's final nine points to tie the game at 34 at the break.

Omari Grier was huge in the first 20 minutes, scoring 15 of Rutgers' 34 first-half points.

The Knights hung around for a little bit at the outset of the second half, even leading four minutes in. But the Hoosiers sprinted out on an 11-0 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Ryan Burton and Yogi Ferrell, that returned Indiana to a double-digit advantage. The Hoosiers' lead didn't dip below six the rest of the way.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Hoosiers gear right here]

Indiana struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over a whopping 23 times leading to 37 Rutgers points. But the Hoosiers splashed in 10 3-pointers and shot 47.5 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the second half.

Yogi Ferrell scored a team-high 20 points, but it was reserve forward Max Bielfeldt who starred, posting a double-double with a career-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. His production was huge as big man Thomas Bryant was limited to just three points as he was in foul trouble throughout the game. Troy Williams scored 10 points.

The win gave the Hoosiers a quality start to Big Ten play and sent them to 11-3 on the season, including wins in each of their last six games. Next up is Nebraska on Saturday.

The loss sent Rutgers to 6-8 on the season. The Knights have dropped 16 straight Big Ten contests and next face Wisconsin on Saturday.

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.

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.