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Illini watch halftime lead evaporate in loss to Purdue

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Illini watch halftime lead evaporate in loss to Purdue

Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
Posted: 2:36 p.m. Updated 9:27 p.m.

Associated Press
CHAMPAIGN -- JaJuan Johnson scored 24 points and E'Twaun Moore added 20 to lead No. 14 Purdue to an 81-70 comeback win over Illinois on Sunday.

The Illini (16-9, 6-6 Big Ten) led 32-27 at halftime. The Boilermakers (20-5, 9-3) opened the second half with a 10-4 run that gave them a 37-36 lead with just over 15 minutes to play.

It was only Purdue's second lead of the game, but the Boilermakers made it stick. The Illini never led again.

Johnson's jumper with 9:32 left gave Purdue a double-digit lead at 57-46.

After a first half of 28 percent shooting, the Boilermakers scored 54 in the second half.

Illinois was led by Brandon Paul's 23 points. Mike Davis added 16 and D.J. Richardson finished with 13.

Box Score

Penn State cruises past Northwestern 65-41

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Talor Battle scored 19 points to pass 2,000 for his career and Penn State overwhelmed poor-shooting Northwestern in a decisive second-half run for a 65-41 win Sunday.

Tim Frazier had 12 points and Jeff Brooks scored 14 in his first start since dislocating his right shoulder nearly two weeks ago to help the Nittany Lions (13-11, 6-7 Big Ten) snap a three-game losing streak.

JerShon Cobb had 10 points to lead Northwestern (14-10, 4-9), which started 0 for 15 from 3-point territory before Cobb hit from long range with 9:35 left.

But the game was all but decided by then with the Nittany Lions leading by as much as 25 after opening the second half with a 21-7 run.

Battle joined Wisconsin's Alando Tucker as the Big Ten's only 2,000-point scorers in the past decade. The Nittany Lions' guard shot 7 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Box Score

Creighton routs Southern Illinois 69-50

OMAHA, Neb. - Gregory Echenique had 12 points and 14 rebounds to lead Creighton past Southern Illinois 69-50 on Sunday night.

Doug McDermott scored 15 points and Jahenns Manigat added 14 points for the Bluejays (16-11, 8-7 Missouri Valley), who never trailed in the game, led 31-19 at halftime and built their margin to 25 points late in the game.

It was Echenique's first double-double for Creighton; the 6-foot-9 sophomore transfer had eight when he played for Rutgers. He had 10 rebounds by halftime, compared to 13 for Southern Illinois. The Bluejays finished with a 37-23 edge on the boards.

Kendall Brown-Surles scored 15 points and Carlton Fay had 12 for the Salukis (11-15, 5-10), who were coming off a 69-66 upset at MVC co-leader Wichita State on Tuesday, but had lost their previous five games.

Box Score

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DePaul hands men’s basketball coach Dave Leitao extension through 2023-24

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USA TODAY

DePaul hands men’s basketball coach Dave Leitao extension through 2023-24

DePaul announced Thursday they’ve extended the contract of men’s basketball coach Dave Leitao through 2023-24. Terms weren’t disclosed.

“We are happy to reach an agreement to continue the improvement and stability that Coach Leitao has instilled in our men’s basketball program,” athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said in a press release. “His vision of academic excellence, athletic excellence and community service mirrors DePaul’s mission in developing outstanding student-athletes and future leaders in our society.”

Leitao just wrapped up his fifth season in his second go-around as DePaul’s head coach. The Blue Demons started off hot, going 12-1 in non-conference play while picking up wins over Iowa, Minnesota and Texas Tech.

They struggled mightily in Big East play, going 4-15 with wins over then-No. 5 Butler, and later Xavier in the Big East tournament, prior to it being canceled due to COVID-19.

Fans and alumni have grown increasingly restless as DePaul has failed to move up from the cellar of the Big East. They’re 64-98 overall the last five seasons, finishing last in conference three times. Their best finish came in 2018-19, when they went 7-11 and tied for eighth.

Last season, Leitao led DePaul to its first postseason berth since 2007, resulting in a second-place finish in the College Basketball Invitational tournament. 

Leitao has acquired some talented players the past few seasons, including transfers Max Strus (now a two-way guard/forward with the Bulls) and point guard Charlie Moore (formerly of Cal-Berkeley and Kansas). Forward Paul Reed is a potential 2020 NBA draft first-round pick. 

Leitao's 2019-20 recruiting class ranked 34th nationally, according to 247 Sports. Forward Romeo Weems (Michigan Mr. Basketball) and guard Markese Jacobs (Uplift) headlined the group.

“I appreciate DePaul athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto for her continued support,” Leitao said. “The process of laying the foundation for sustained success evolved into a strong start to this season before a tough run through the conference schedule.

"I’m proud of the resilience of our players and staff to finish the season strong before all of our lives were interrupted with the coronavirus outbreak. The response we received from our fans and supporters all season was outstanding and we can’t wait to continue to build excitement at Wintrust Arena in the future.”

NCAA announces an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes

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USA TODAY

NCAA announces an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes

The NCAA announced Monday evening they will allow spring athletes an extra year of eligibility after the spring season was upended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After the announcement was made, many fans immediately noticed that this was only for spring athletes (baseball, softball, lacrosse, etc.) and not for winter athletes. Winter athletes, including basketball, had their seasons suddenly cut short as the pandemic dramatically increased in severity in February and March, right as these teams were entering postseason play.

In their official statement, the NCAA cited excluding winter athletes from the extension because their regular season had either ended or had been nearly completed. 

Winter sports were not included in the decision. Council members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed.