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NCAA Hoops: NIU, Bradley, Eastern all fall

NCAA Hoops: NIU, Bradley, Eastern all fall

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011
CSNChicago.comAssociated Press

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) Flenard Whitfield had a double-double to lead Western Michigan to a 77-65 victory over Northern Illinois on Tuesday night.

Whitfield scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his sixth double-double for the Broncos (7-4, 14-10), who lead the Mid-American Conference West.

Mike Douglas led the Broncos with 16 points. Demetrius Ward hit double figures for the ninth straight game, adding 15. But his streak of free throws ended at 35 when he missed in the second half. Juwan Howard Jr. scored 12.

Nate Rucker's 11 points led the Huskies (7-17, 3-9), who lost their sixth straight. DeMarcus Grady added 10. Xavier Silas, the nation's second-leading scorer at 24.2, was limited to seven points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Western Michigan used a 12-0 run late in the first half to turn a 24-24 tie into a 36-24 lead. Ward scored 10 of those points, and the Broncos led for good.
Complete Recap, Box Score

Poor second half does Bradley in

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) Anthony James scored 25 points, making 6 of 7 from 3-point range, and Kwadzo Ahelegbe scored 24 Tuesday night as Northern Iowa rallied to beat Bradley 80-70, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Marc Sonnen added 17 points for the Panthers (19-9, 10-6 Missouri Valley). Bradley opened up a 28-18 lead in the first half, but Northern Iowa scored 10 of the game's next 12 points and eventually trailed 34-29 at halftime.

Northern Iowa tied a school record with 15 3-pointers and was able to hold on at the free-throw line with a 23-for-26 performance. Ahelegbe was 11 for 12 from the foul line and Sonnen - all in the last 1:05 - was 8 for 8. The Panthers' biggest lead was the final score.

Andrew Warren led Bradley (9-18, 3-13) with 20 points. Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 15 points, Will Egolf scored 12 and Dodie Dunson added 11 points.

Complete Recap, Box Score

Tennessee-Martin' strong start sinks EIU

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) Mike Liabo scored 21 points for Tennessee-Martin, which roared out of the gate to defeat Eastern Illinois 73-54 on Tuesday night.

Troy King and Reuben Clayton scored 13 points apiece for the Skyhawks (10-18, 5-11), who put the game out of reach early by scoring the first 14 points and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the game.

The win put Tennessee-Martin alone in eighth place in the Ohio Valley, a game ahead of the Panthers (8-18, 4-12) with two games left for each team. There are eight berths in the OVC's postseason tournament.

Eastern Illinois has lost eight in a row. The Panthers haven't won since losing at Tennessee-Martin 63-62 on Jan. 22.

Jeremy Granger scored 16 points and senior Curry McKinney scored 13 for Eastern Illinois, which played its final home game of the season.

Complete Recap, Box Score

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

Mark Dantonio retires from coaching Michigan State football

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USA TODAY

Mark Dantonio retires from coaching Michigan State football

Mark Dantonio led one of the best eras of Michigan State football, but announced his retirement from coaching on Tuesday.

The 63-year-old had been at the school since 2007. He led the Spartans to the College Football Playoff in 2015 and two Big Ten titles. He tweeted out a message announcing his retirement.


“After much reflection and discussion with my family, I feel that it is now time for change as we enter into a new decade of Michigan State Football,” Dantonio wrote.

The timing is unusual considering firing and hiring season in college football has long since passed. On top of that, the early signing period for recruits has already gone by. Whoever ends up being Dantonio’s replacement won’t have much time to prepare for spring practices.

Replacing Dantonio’s accomplishments at MSU won’t be easy either. Dantonio took over a program that managed one top 25 finish in its previous 16 years (and that includes a five-year Nick Saban tenure). He left having produced seven top 25 finishes and 12 bowl appearances in 13 seasons.

The Spartans made three Big Ten Championship Game appearances under Dantonio and won two of them, one of which propelled them to a national semifinal. However, the Spartans had gone 27-24 since making the playoff.

Maxwell 'Bunchie' Young from the NFL’s Super Bowl video already has a scholarship offer from Lovie Smith

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USA TODAY

Maxwell 'Bunchie' Young from the NFL’s Super Bowl video already has a scholarship offer from Lovie Smith

Remember the kid sporting the cool faux-hawk in the NFL’s star-studded Super Bowl video? There is a chance he could be coming to Urbana-Champaign in five years.

Back in 2017, University of Illinois head coach and former Bears coach Lovie Smith offered then 10-year-old Maxwell “Bunchie” Young a scholarship to play for the Fighting Illini. Bunchie, now 13, starred in the NFL’s “NEXT 100” video, in which he was seen navigating famous football faces and various locales around the US before charging the Super Bowl LIV stadium in Miami. Young had been previously profiled by ESPN and was named Sports Illustrated SportsKid of the Year in 2017.

The news of the scholarship offer from Illinois three years ago opened up a larger conversation around schools recruiting and offering kids at such a young age. In the case of Young, he won’t be eligible to play for the Illini until 2025. Smith’s current contract expires long before that so there's always a chance that the coaching staff that made the offer won't be in place when Young is eligible to play. According to NCAA rules, schools can't make written scholarship offers until August of the player’s senior season. Verbal offers, however, are a different story.

Young wasn’t the only Chicagoland connection in the NFL’s ode to the next 100 years of football. Bears owner Virginia McCaskey had a supporting role near the end of the video, sporting Bears gear and presenting Young with the ball before he ran into the Super Bowl stadium. McCaskey filmed her cameo at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, which led to another local highlight.

Libertyville High School’s football field made an appearance about a minute into the video, the location chosen due to its proximity to Halas Hall. About a minute in, Young is seen sprinting onto the Libertyville field to intercept a pass from Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman before holding the ball for a field-goal attempt by US women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd.