The Illinois men's tennis team beat #6 Baylor earlier this season.
The Illinois golf team is used to being the underdog, but this season they are ranked number one and have a big target on their back.
Illinois head coach John Groce isn't using injuries as an excuse for Illinois' loss at Minnesota.
Illinois basketball signee Jalen Coleman-Lands helped La Lumiere defeat St. Louis Christian 72-55 at Parkland College in Champaign Saturday night. Coleman-Lands scored 17 points. He also unofficially had four rebounds, five assists, and one steal.
The Illini men's basketball team fell at Minnesota 79-71 Saturday. Illinois is now 3-5 in the Big Ten. Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill each had 18 points, while Jaylon had career-highs with 11 points and 9 assists. Minnesota's Andre Hollins had a game-high 28 points.
High School basketball scores and highlights
MAHOMET, Ill. - Mahomet-Seymour wrestling coach Rob Ledin won his 300th career dual meet Thursday night as the Bulldogs beat Central 54-21.
ARGENTA, Ill. - Taylor Edwards scored a game-high 27 points to lead Arcola to a 52-38 win over ALAH in the LOVC Northwest division championship game. The win was also the 700th victory in the long career of Purple Riders head coach Nancy Stiff. Arcola advances to face Hutsonville-Palestine in the LOVC Tournament championship Saturday night in Arthur.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Brittany Carter scored a team-high 15 points, but it wasn't enough as Northwestern edged Illinois 68-67 at State Farm Center.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It was a night Leron Black won't forget anytime soon. The freshman enjoyed several 'firsts', none bigger than his first career double-double. The Memphis-native scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. In his first career start he played a career-high 32 minutes. Purdue head coach Matt Painter called Black the best player on the floor, adding "it wasn't even close." Illinois head coach John Groce said Black lived up to his nickname - Savage. "I'm thrilled for him," Groce said after Wednesday's 66-57 win over Purdue. "His effort, his motor, how much he cares about winning, how hard he competes, his approach to practice, and it's been great."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois needed somebody to step up big to neutralize the big men of Purdue Wednesday night at State Farm Center. Leron Black and Nnanna Egwu answered the call leading Illinois to a 66-57 win. Black picked up his first career double-double scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Egwu scored 11 points. He also added seven rebounds and five blocks. Those five blocks were enough for Egwu to break Deon Thomas' all-time career blocked shots record. Illinois improves to 13-7 overall, 3-4 in the Big Ten.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois junior shooting guard Aaron Cosby will miss the next 1-2 weeks due to a retinal tear in his left eye, according to the U of I. Cosby suffered the injury during Sunday's 80-74 loss to Indiana. He underwent a laser procedure on Monday and will be sidelined beginning with Wednesday's game vs. Purdue. Cosby, a transfer from Seton Hall, is averaging 7.8 ppg this season.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois fans are counting down the weeks until Rayvonte Rice returns from his broken hand; and while John Groce won't publicly release a timeline for his recovery, he did say by all indications Rice is on schedule. Groce said Tuesday it helps that the fracture is on the outside of Rice's non-shooting hand, so that should help the recovery. Illinois is 2-2 in four games without Rice, and Groce is hoping the Champaign-native will be back sooner rather than later. "Ray will let us know when Ray is ready," Groce said. "Obviously with the doctors and [athletic trainer Paul Schmidt] and myself, we're not gonna let him do out there. He'd like to play the other day. But within reason, you know I think his body will be telling him and the doctors will be telling us whether or not they think it's, 'Hey he's good to go, or he can start to be cleared for some contact.' And we're just going to follow their lead."
Boys, girls basketball; wrestling
MOWEAQUA, Ill. - In a season full of expectations the Central A&M girls basketball team has lived up to the hype. The Raiders are 20-0 and ranked third in the state's Class 1A poll. They have dominated nearly every opponent with their high-powered offensive attack and full court press defense. In one game earlier this year they had a 43-0 lead at halftime. "Winning is always fun," said senior guard Kaley Hennings. "You always want to have good competition and just to be able to go out there everyday and give it our all is fun."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Purdue visits State Farm Center to tangle with Illinois Wednesday night, and the Boilers are one of just four teams in the country with two players who stand 7-feet or taller. "They start a 7-footer, and then they come with a 7-footer off the bench," said Nnanna Egwu, Illinois' most established post defender. "It's just unique. It's one thing that makes their team good, so I think it's going be a team effort trying to contain those two big guys."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Kyle Hudson is already on campus and getting down to work as the newest volunteer assistant coach for Illinois baseball team. He was hired last week. The former Illini two-sport star and Mattoon grad has been in professional baseball since 2008, and he said he thought the time was right to call it quits and pass along his knowledge as a coach for the first time. "It was kind of quiet as far as organizations coming to me and asking me to play for them," Hudson said of his decision to retire. "Coach Hartleb gave me a call a couple weeks ago and said his volunteer assistant was leaving for a different job, and he asked if I wanted to possibly do that while I'm going back to school, and I thought it was just a great opportunity."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Kendrick Nunn was arguably the best player in the Big Ten over the last week. The sophomore put up back-to-back games of 25 points and 24 points, providing a much-needed scoring punch in the absence of Rayvonte Rice. Nunn is starting to hit his stride. He has made 17 of his last 26 shots, including 10 of his last 17 threes. John Groce admitted they are relying on Nunn a little more than usual with Rice out, but he says Nunn is capable of putting up those offensive numbers when when he is aggressive but doesn't force the issue. "Is he gonna score 25 a night every night? And if he doesn't, then [are] people gonna write like, 'What's wrong with Kendrick Nunn?,'" said Groce. "I mean I get kinda tired of that a little bit. Is he capable of doing what he's done the last two games? Sure. Absolutely. He's shown that, and I think he's in a real groove right now and hopefully he continues to play aggressive. That's the main thing."
Boys, girls basketball
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Marcus LoVett is getting interest from several big-time schools like Kansas, Tennessee, DePaul and more. Illinois is right in the mix as well. John Groce and his staff are recruiting the four-star point guard hard. "Illinois is up there at the top [of my list]," LoVett said while attending Sunday's 80-74 loss to Indiana. "They have a good style of play that I like as well, so that has a lot to [do] with it. The fans, as I'm looking right now, it's real rowdy in here so I like that."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois lost a heartbreaker to Indiana Sunday at home, and it was Illinois' fourth loss in their first six Big Ten games. After the game John Groce said the defense - or lack thereof - is a big reason for their slow start in conference play. The Illini (12-7, 2-4) have allowed 70+ points in three of those losses, including a season-high 80 in Sunday's loss. In conference games alone, Illinois is allowing more than 67 points per game, which ranks ninth in the Big Ten. "I don't like our numbers in league play," Groce said after Sunday's 80-74 loss to Indiana. "I didn't like them coming into the game. I don't like them coming out of the game. In this league, as I've said numerous times, you have to defend, you have to rebound, you have to take care of the ball. You cannot just go and outscore people night in, night out."
Baseball fans got an up close look at some of the St. Louis Cardinals in Champaign.
Indiana closed the game on a 13-2 over the final three minutes to beat the Illini 80-74. Kendrick Nunn scored a team-high 24 points while Ahmad Starks added 19 points. The Illini fall to 12-7, 2-4 in the Big Ten.
Bonus video with 2015 point guard Marcus LoVett..
It's long been said officials only get noticed when they make a bad call. And it's true. Any good referee will tell you it's not about them, and it shouldn't be. But the future of high school athletics could be in the balance of the men and women who wear those zebra shirts.
Local basketball scores and highlights
Illinois hosts Indiana Sunday in the first of four out of five games at home for the Illini. Illinois just completed a stretch of four out of five games on the road to open Big Ten play. " I was proud of the way they handled that stretch. I really did think they were warriors from a mindset perspective. They had a lot thrown at them. They had to deal with a lot of adversity and some success as well. For us right now we've talked about it being a 2 game home-stand. All we've talked about obviously is Indiana. You watch them on film and you realize that's enough to talk about right now," said John Groce. There's still no timetable for Rayvonte Rice's return from injury. "The first year I got here I sat out so that's helping me a little bit, but it's still hard to see my team out there and not being able to compete with them. A lot of guys stepping up, Malcolm, Kendrick, Jaylon," Said Rayvonte Rice.
High School basketball scores and highlights.
RICHMOND, Ky. (EIU release) – LeTrell Viser hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 to play to give Eastern Illinois a little breathing room as the Panthers won at Eastern Kentucky for the first time since 2001 with a 72-65 win on Thursday night. EIU has now won eight straight as they improved to 11-6 overall, 5-0 in the OVC. The Panthers will play at Morehead State on Saturday at 1 p.m. The defending OVC Champion Colonels dropped to 10-6 overall, 2-1 in the OVC. The eight straight wins ties the EIU school record for consecutive wins at the NCAA Division I level.
E. LANSING, Mich. - Brittany Carter poured in 19 points, but it wasn't enough as Illinois fell to Michigan State 63-56 Thursday night in East Lansing, Mich. Illinois falls to 11-6 overall, 2-3 in the Big Ten.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Champaign Swarm used a 16-4 run to start the game, and they never trailed on their way to a 124-96 win over the Gateway Steam Thursday. The Swarm improve to 2-0 on the season.
Wallen (2,000), Comerford (1,000) and Stoller (1,000) all reach scoring milestones Thursday night
EVANSTON, Ill. - All season long Illinois head coach John Groce has told Aaron Cosby to keep shooting. The junior is a proven scorer; he shot 40 percent in two seasons at Seton Hall, but he has struggled with the Illini. Coming into Wednesday's game at Northwestern Cosby had only made seven of his last 33 shots and was shooting just 26 percent from beyond the arc. But he got back on track in a 72-67 win over the Wildcats, scoring a season-high 19 points including four three-pointers. "My coaches and teammates know what I'm capable of, and I do too," Cosby said after the win. "I've stayed confident through it all, continued to work and tonight they fell."
CHICAGO - Illinois volleyball coach Kevin Hambly has run one of the most successful programs on campus, and as of Thursday he will be sticking around for a few more years. The Illinois Board of Trustees approved a raise and contract extension for Hambly at their meeting Thursday in Chicago. The contract extension will keep Hambly in Champaign through the end of the 2019 season. He also gets a raise that will pay him a total of $200,000 per year. Hambly also gets a $125,000 bonus if he is still the head coach in January 2020.
EVANSTON, Ill. - Coming off their worst offensive performance of the season, Illinois needed a spark in Evanston - and they got it. Sophomore Kendrick Nunn poured in a career-high 25 points and junior Aaron Cosby added a season-best 19 points to lead Illinois to a 72-67 win over Northwestern Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Nunn's most valuable points came during the game's final seconds, sinking four consecutive free throws to clinch the victory. Cosby, who had only make seven field goals in his last four games, went 7-for-15 against the Wildcats including 4-8 from 3-point range. Illinois (12-6, 2-3) is back in action Sunday at home against Indiana.
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Eastern Illinois has been known as a 'football school' for years, but the men's basketball team is grabbing all the headlines so far this season. The Panthers have won seven straight games and are 4-0 to start conference play for the first time in 29 years. "It's exciting that we're finally getting some good things coming our way," said Centennial grad Josh Piper. "It's been real fun because we struggled a lot last year," said Chris Olivier. "But we're coming around this year."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Thursday will be Wayne McClain Day in Champaign in honor of the former Central coach and Illinois assistant who died of cancer late last year. The St. Thomas More girls basketball team, led by McClain's good friend Jay Price, plan to pay tribute. During the Sabers conference game against Monticello Thursday night, a portion of the gate proceeds will be donated to the Wayne McClain Pipeline Foundation. Both teams will also wear pink to honor the late coach. "It was devastating to me when he passed away," Price said. "I thought this was a good way for me to be able to honor his memory and to help his foundation and to let our girls know sort of like what's come before them and what kind of people have helped coach high school basketball. He was a great person, and I miss him every day, and I'm excited that we can do something to honor him." All the festivities start Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at St. Thomas More. The varsity game tips off at 7:30 p.m.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois defensive coordinator Tim Banks may not be the only guy in charge of the defense next season. It appears head coach Tim Beckman is willing to go with co-defensive coordinators as he fills out his staff. The Illini are searching for a new defensive assistant coach to replace Greg Colby, who was let go from his position as defensive line coach. According to the job posting, that person could be given the co-defensive coordinator title if qualified. Banks has been Illinois' sole defensive coordinator for three years. That unit has been among the worst in the league all three years.
Boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If you only judged players by their height, Terrion Howard might not measure up as just 5' 3'' tall. "It's funny to me," Howard said of the criticism. "Most people don't think I can do what I do. I know what I'm capable of. I don't take offense to it. I don't think about it." He isn't short on game. Centennial's senior point guard tries to get his teammates involved. He also scored 33 points in a game earlier this season. "Quickness. Protecting the ball," Howard said, listing his strengths. "I have to box out. People get offensive rebounds off me, and I need to make sure that doesn't happen."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois basketball team is facing an incredibly quick turnaround between conference road games this week. The Illini didn't return home from Sunday's game at Nebraska until Monday afternoon. Then they left for Northwestern Tuesday afternoon. The team was only in Champaign for 24 hours between games. "It's pretty quick, especially considering we got back just yesterday," said sophomore Malcolm Hill. "It's all part of the process. We'll see how tough we are. We aren't used to doing stuff like this, but it shouldn't be a distraction for us at all in my mind."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois volleyball coach Kevin Hambly is in line for a raise and contract extension, which is expected to be approved by the Board of Trustees as soon as Thursday. Under the deal Hambly would get a three-year extension that would run through January 31, 2020. He would earn $200,000 annually in total compensation, plus a $125,000 bonus if he stays through the life the contract. Hambly has led Illinois to five Sweet 16s in six years, including a national runner-up finish in 2011.
LINCOLN, Neb. - Illinois put together its worst shooting performance of the season in Sunday night's loss at Nebraska. The Illini scored a season-low 43 points on just 27% shooting. It was a major letdown coming off that upset win over Maryland last Wednesday. Head coach John Groce said the effort was there; they just didn't make enough shots. "Our four shot-makers went 12-for-43," Groce said referring to Malcolm Hill, Kendrick Nunn, Aaron Cosby and Ahmad Starks. "When that happens, and you shoot 27 percent, you're not gonna have a chance to win in this league on the road. But I certainly did not think it was because of our effort."
WATSEKA, Ill. - Watseka athletic director Barry Bauer preaches balance to the teams he coaches, and if there is one coach qualified to talk about balance - it's Bauer. The Watseka athletic director is in his first year coaching the girls basketball team. He took the job in part to spend more time with his daughters Taylor and Madison. Then in July the boys basketball coach left; he was asked to take over that team as well. Bauer accepted, and needless to say it has been a busy couple months. "I wouldn't recommend it," Bauer said of his busy schedule. "It's been a lot of work, a lot of time but I'm so grateful because I really enjoy the group I have, both the boys and girls."
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The individual state wrestling tournament will stay in Champaign for at least five more years. The Illinois High School Association announced Monday it has extended the agreement with State Farm Center through 2020. The IHSA also announced the state finals for boys golf (Bloomington-Normal, Decatur), softball (East Peoria) and competitive cheerleading (Bloomington) will stay at their current sites for five more years.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois football commit Matt Domer announced Monday he will play at Bowling Green instead of the U of I. Domer signed with Illinois last February, but he was denied admission into the school. He took classes last semester at Parkland in hopes of joining Illinois this semester, but Domer announced on Twitter he is headed to Bowling Green instead. Domer was a standout running back at Chicago's Mt. Carmel High School.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Chatrice White was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday for the third time this year. Against a pair of Top 20 teams last week, White averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals per game. She scored a team-high 22 points in a win over No. 17 Iowa.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Former Parkland golfer and coach Zach McNabney has passed away after a three-and-a-half year battle with cancer. McNabney is a Central High School and University of Illinois graduate, who was a standout golfer with the Cobras. He then coached the team for six years before stepping down this past year. McNabney led the team to four conference titles and two trips to nationals.
Update: 10:21 pm, 1/11/15, Sunday CHAMPAIGN -- It was a big night for a basketball team in the area.
The Illinois basketball team lost at Nebraska 53-43 Sunday night. The Illini shot 15-55 from the field and 6-29 from three-point range. Illinois drops to 11-6 and 1-3 in the Big Ten.