The Illinois women's basketball team tried to do what the men could not - and that is beat Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Like the men, though, the women ran out of gas losing 93-69 to the Yellow Jackets. Illinois guard Sarah Hartwell, who transferred to Illinois from Georgia Tech, scored 9 points in her return to Atlanta. Illinois (5-3) hits the road on Saturday against Colorado.
The Illinois men's golf team is moving up again in the national rankings. The final coaches poll of the fall season was released today, and the Orange and Blue are ranked No. 6 in the country. That is up from No. 14, where they were in the preseason.
The Fighting Illini led a 12-point second-half lead slip away en route to a 67-64 loss at Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. After trailing by 3 points at halftime, Illinois fought back to open up a 12-point advantage with 9:00 to go in the game. But the Yellow Jackets (6-3) closed the game on a 19-4 run to hand the Illini their first loss of the year.
Marcus Catchings had a career night to lead Urbana past Normal West 60-48. Catchings led the way with 15 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. Conner Gremer scored a team-high 20 points for the Tigers. Click here for all the highlights and scores from Tuesday's action.
One big coaching chance a lot of fans are anticipating is that of defensive coordinator Tim Banks. Illinois ranked 110th (out of 123) in entire FBS in total defense, 104th in scoring defense, and 3rd-to-last in takeaways.
Illinois football coach Tim Beckman will return next season, Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas confirmed to WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten Monday morning. Thomas gave Beckman a vote of confidence, despite his 6-18 record in two seasons.
Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas tells WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten that Tim Beckman will coach the Illini next season. Here is the entire interview as he gives his opinion and analysis on the state of the Illinois football program.
Illinois junior Rayvonte Rice was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday. The Centennial grad averaged 21 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals in a pair Illinois victories over UNLV and IPFW. Aside from the numbers, Rice's impact was huge. He made some key baskets down the stretch against UNLV and clinched the IPFW game with a late steal.
The Illinois volleyball team will host the first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament at Huff Hall. Illinois plays Morehead State Friday. The winner will play the winner of Louisville and Marquette Saturday. The Illini also host the NCAA Regional at State Farm Center.
The Illinois football team finished the second year under Tim Beckman 4-8 (1-7). He insists the Illini are getting better.
SHG defeated Montini 38-28 to win the state championship.
The Illinois football team fell at home to Northwestern 37-34 in the final game of the season. The Illini finish the season 4-8 (1-7). Nathan Scheelhaase did set a new Illinois record for total career yards in the contest.
The last two games for Illinois have come down to the final seconds, but John Groce's squad continues to find ways to win. The same was true Friday night as Illinois held off IPFW 57-55 at State Farm Center. Illinois led for much of the first half, but IPFW went on a 12-0 run to take command and take a 35-27 lead into halftime. As Illinois came out for the second half, Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice put the team on their backs and the defense stepped up. Abrams scored 12 of his 15 points over the final 20 minutes. Rice scored a game-high 17 points, and came up with the biggest defensive stop of the game in the final seconds. Illinois improves to 7-0 on the year.
It took overtime for someone to end St. Joseph-Ogden's magical playoff run, but the Spartans ran out of magic in the state title game as they fall 43-41 in overtime to the Stillman Valley Cardinals. The game went back and forth all night long, and it came down to the final possessions in overtime. Stillman Valley scored a touchdown and completed the two-point conversion to take a 43-35 lead. SJ-O (11-3) responded with a touchdown of their own, but quarterback Dalton Walsh was sacked on his two-point conversion attempt ending the game. The Spartans fall one win short of the state title, earning their fifth runner-up finish - all under head coach Dick Duval. In Class 4A, the Rochester Rockets were held to a season-low 16 points, but they still found a way to win their fourth consecutive state title 16-8 over Geneseo. Rochester becomes the first public school in IHSA history to win four state football championships in a row.
Illinois will not play in a bowl game for the second straight season. The Illini had opportunities but couldn't win six games.
St. Joseph-Ogden senior lineman Dylan and Ryan Koss are putting their brothers experience in state final football games to good use this week.
St. Joseph-Ogden head coach Dick Duval reflects on the Spartans' run to the Class 3A state title game.
Champaign Central lost to Brookfield Central (WI) 65-33 at the Washington Tournament of Champions Wednesday afternoon.
The Illinois volleyball team swept Northwestern 3-0 Wednesday night at Huff Hall.
St. Joseph-Ogden junior running back Orion Ciota stepped in after Austin Hedrick got hurt earlier this season. Now he's one of the biggest reasons the Spartans are in the state finals.
Illinois junior Rayvonte Rice scored a career high 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and even had four steals to lead the Illini past UNLV 61-59 Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
St. Joseph-Ogden will have a chance to win it's first state football championship on Friday when the Spartans take on Stillman Valley in the Class 3A state title game in DeKalb. SJ-O started the year 2-and-2, but they have won nine games in a row, and they're feeling confident heading in after a major turnaround.
Highlights and scores from boys and girls basketball games
The Big 12 Conference is in early discussions with four Peoria high schools about the possibility of those schools joining the league. Representatives from the Big 12 met Monday with officials from Peoria High, Manual, Richwoods and Notre Dame to gauge their interest in becoming a part of the Big 12. Central athletic director John Woods stressed these are "very early talks" and there is long way to go, but the now the lines of communication have been opened. Woods says the Big 12 has been looking for new schools for several years, courting Mahomet-Seymour, Rantoul and Kankakee in the past. The conference lost Mattoon to the Apollo last year, and both MacArthur and Eisenhower are leaving for the CS8 next year. That leaves the Big 12 with only seven members, and if they could get those four Peoria schools on board it would bring that number to 11.
Tonight's Illinois basketball game vs. UNLV will air LIVE at 9:45 pm on CBS Sports Network. Here's how to find it:
Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Illinois took home two of the four major 2013 postseason OVC football awards while Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State won the other two in voting conducted by league head coaches and sports information directors. Eastern Illinois senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was named Offensive Player of the Year while his head coach, Dino Babers, was named the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year for the second-straight year.
The Illinois senior class will play it's last game with the Illini football team this Saturday against Northwestern. Nathan Scheelhaase will be one of those seniors getting ready for his last game, and as WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten reports, Scheelhaase will have one last chance to cap off his storied career.
The Central Maroons' girls basketball team trailed Danville heading into the fourth quarter before rallying for a 45-39 victory Monday night at the Blue Star Country Classic. Central's defense held Danville without a field goal for the entire fourth quarter, as Airiana Smith led the way for the victorious Maroons with a career-high 17 points.
Former Illini Jereme Richmond was sentenced Monday to three years in prison after he was convicted of harassing a witness. This comes after an incident back in April when Richmond threatened his probation officer. Since leaving Illinois, the former Mr. Basketball has faced numerous weapons charges, drug charges and probation violations. The Lake Co. Assistant State's Attorney told the Chicago Sun-Times it's possible Richmond could get out of jail in 18 months or less.
The Illinois basketball team will play it's first road game of the season Tuesday night at UNLV. It will be a big test for a young team playing it's first game away from home. It will be a new kind of adversity they haven't seen yet this year, and they will be leaning on their upperclassmen to lead the way.
University of Illinois senior wide receiver Steve Hull (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Monday for his performance in the Fighting Illini’s Big Ten victory at Purdue on Saturday.
Eastern Illinois is heading to the FCS playoffs as the number two overall seed. The Panthers will play the winner of Butler-Tennessee State in the second round December 7th at 1 p.m. in Charleston.
Illinois snapped its 20-game BIg Ten Conference losing streak with a 20-16 win at Purdue Saturday. Illiniboard.com writer Robert Rosenthal sits down to talk about the victory and what's next for the Illini.
Illinois snapped a 20-game Big Ten Conference losing streak with a 20-16 win over Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium Saturday afternoon.
St. Joseph-Ogden is heading to the Class 3A state football finals after beating Greenville 44-21 Saturday afternoon.
Illinois used a 22-2 run to finish the game and finish off Chicago State 77-53 Friday night at State Farm Center. Jon Ekey led all scorers with 19 points. Joseph Bertrand, Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice added 12 apiece for Illinois (5-0).
St. Joseph-Ogden is holding opponents to less than 20 points per game this season, but the Spartans' defense will be put to the test in Saturday's state semifinal game at Greenville. The Comets are averaging more than 50 points per game, including last week's 71-point performance.
The No. 2 Parkland volleyball team beat No. 3 Johnson County (Kan.) 25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21 Friday evening in the NJCAA national semifinals. The Cobras (52-2) advance to Saturday's national championship game, where they will face No. 1 Cowley County (34-4) at 5:30 pm CT.
The Illinois soccer team erased a pair of two-goal deficits to rally past No. 7 Portland 4-3 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Illinois' rally send the game into overtime, where Jannelle Flaws scored the game-winner, her 25th goal of the year. That ties her for the NCAA lead. Illinois advances to the Sweet 16, where they will face Boston College Sunday at 1:00 pm in Lincoln, Neb.
Full list of local athletes who earned all-state honors
Highlights and scores from Day 1 of the Blue Star Country Classic in Champaign
Illinois took the lead early and never looked back in a 78-43 win over in-state rival SIU Thursday night at State Farm Center. Freshman Jacqui Grant led the way with a game-high 15 points. Amber Moore and Ivory Crawford chipped in 14 apiece. The win is Illinois' 4th straight.
The Illinois men's basketball team hosts Chicago State Friday night. It's a series in which Illinois has never lost; they're 10-0 all-time against the Cougars.
Illinois' defensive struggles on the football field continue. In fact they rank among the worst in the Big Ten in almost every major defensive category - and the results haven't gotten any better as the season has gone along.
The Illinois soccer team heads to Lincoln, Neb. this weekend for the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Illinois will take on No. 7 Portland Friday at 11:00 a.m.
The No. 2 Parkland volleyball team swept No. 15 Moraine Valley 25-15, 25-18, 25-20 in their opener at the NJCAA Division II national tournament Thursday morning. The Cobras will face No. 10 Grand Valley in the second round tonight at 6:30 pm CT.
Parkland men stun defending national champs in Champaign
Chicago Simeon junior forward D.J. Williams wasted no time committing to play for the Fighting Illini. Making his decision before his junior season, he's the earliest a Simeon player has ever committed to play Division I basketball.
Simeon head coach Robert Smith says it is important that Chicago kids play for their home state school, and he thinks Groce and his staff are changing the perception of Illinois hoops in the Windy City.
STM baseball star Storm Joop moving on to D-II level
Extended interview with Illinois-commit D.J. Williams from Chicago Simeon High School.
Things have been "so far, so good" for the Illinois basketball team. They are one of the youngest teams in the Big Ten, but you wouldn't know it by the way they've played. They credit that to the leadership on the team, especially veterans like Tracy Abrams, Joseph Bertrand and others.
The Illinois football team is looking for one Big Ten win - anything to snap that 20-game conference losing streak. They will have their best chance yet Saturday at Purdue. One key for Illinois, though, will be keeping Nathan Scheelhaase on his feet.
The Parkland volleyball team left Tuesday morning for Toledo, Ohio - the site of this week's Division II Junior College National Tournament. The Cobras have made six straight trips to nationals, including a third place finish last year. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns has more on this year's team and their incredible run through the regular season.
Eastern Illinois head football coach Dino Babers has been announced as one of 21 finalists for this year’s Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year Award presented by the Sports Network. The award will be presented at the Sports Network FCS Awards Banquet on Monday, Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.
The Illinois basketball team is off to a 4-0 start heading into Friday's game against Chicago State, and one of the big reasons the Illini are still perfect has been the play of freshman point guard Jaylon Tate.
One of the bright spots for the Illinois football team has been the play of Steve Hull. The senior wide receiver ranks sixth in the Big Ten in receiving, and he has stepped up in a big way ever since Ryan Lankford was lost for the year. Head coach Tim Beckman says if Hull can stay healthy, he hopes his senior can get a chance to play in the NFL.
On the week of the biggest football game of the season, Sacred Heart-Griffin is putting their opponent first.
The Illinois football team is getting ready to play Purdue Saturday. The Illini have lost 20 straight Big Ten games. They're looking to end that skid against a team who is also winless in the Big Ten this season.
St. Thomas More senior point guard Randa Harshbarger signed a letter of intent to play at Southern Indiana Monday.
Illinois senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase said even though the Illini are no longer bowl eligible, there's still "something to play for." The Illini dropped their 20th consecutive Big Ten Conference game against Ohio State on Saturday, losing 60-35.
Illinois graduate senior Jon Ekey scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Illini's 81-55 win over Bradley Sunday night at State Farm Center. Four players scored in double figures for Illinois, who improved to 4-0 on the season.
The Illinois women's basketball team set a school record for largest margin of victory, blowing out Alcorn State 112-28 at State Farm Center Sunday afternoon.
Playoff football scores and highlights.
Bonus video of John Groce talking about an article that was critical of Illinois fans and the Illini program.
#2 Eastern Illinois defeats #22 Jacksonville State 52-14 to claim an outright OVC Championship, the team's second straight conference title.
Third ranked Ohio State defeated Illinois 60-35 Saturday dropping the Illini to 0-6 in the Big Ten and 3-7 overall. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He became just the fourth Illinois player to ever thrown 50 career touchdown passes. He also rushed for 46 yards and a score. V'Angelo Bentley returned a punt for a touchdown becoming the first Illini player to ever return a kick-off and a punt for a touchdown in the same season. Illinois plays at Purdue next Saturday,
Morganne Criswell and Liz McMahon led the Illini with 13 kills apiece, as No. 25 Illinois sweeps Indiana 28-26, 25-18, 25-22. Illinois improves to 13-12 with the win.
Former Illini Dennis Nevolo fell in the semifinals of the JSM Challenger on Friday evening at the Atkins Tennis Center. Nevolo, who advanced the furthest in the Challenger series in his young professional career at the event, lost to seventh-seeded Sam Groth of Australia, 7-6(5), 6-4.
Cliff Alexander, the nation's No. 3 recruit, picked Kansas over Illinois at a national televised ceremony this afternoon in Chicago. Here is our full interview with Alexander.
Cliff Alexander, the nation's No. 3 recruit, verbally committed to Kansas Friday afternoon, but not before teasing Illini nation first. Alexander, while making his announcement live on ESPNU, briefly picked up the Illinois hat, only to set it down and ultimately pick Kansas.
The Stewardson-Strasburg volleyball team rolled to a straight set win over New Athens 25-12, 25-23 Friday morning in Normal. The win propels the Lady Comets into tomorrow's state championship game, where they will face Rockford (Keith Country Day).
Quentin Snider signed a letter of intent to play for Louisville Friday morning, his high school coach Chris Renner confirms to WCIA's Matt Wettersten. Snider had previously given a verbal commitment to attend Illinois.
Illinois senior Amber Moore (27 pts, 19 reb) led the way, while freshman Jacqui Grant added a career-high 22 points to pace the Illini to a 93-70 win over Mississippi Valley State.
Former Illini Dennis Nevolo rallied past Joshua Milton to reach the semifinals of the Illinois Challenger at Atkins Tennis Center Thursday night. Nevolo lost the first set 6-3, but answered to win the second and third sets 6-1 and 7-6 respectively. This is the furthest Nevolo has ever advanced in a tournament in his professional career.
Illinois survived a bit of a scare from Valparaiso Wednesday night, and their dominance on the glass was a big reason why they came out on top. Nobody did a better job in that area than Jon Ekey. The Illinois State-transfer pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds.
Matt Bollant, Mike Small, Kim Landrus, Justin Spring & Brad Dancer talk about signing their latest recruiting classes.
Centennial's Michael Finke will wear his dad's No. 43 at Illinois.
Rice's 18 points, Ekey's 15 rebounds lead Illinois past Valparaiso 64-52
John Groce signs Top 20 class; local athletes sign for their colleges of choice
Amber Moore led the way with 23 points as the Illini beat Valparaiso 87-59
Illini star falls to Australia's John-Patrick Smith 6-3, 7-5
Extended interview with 4-star PF Leron Black, who will sign with Illinois on Wednesday
Tomorrow John Groce will sign the first members of his 2014 recruiting class. One of those players who can't wait to make it official is Memphis (TN) star Leron Black. The four-star power forward talked with WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten about what drew him to Illinois, and what kind of impact he thinks he can make.
The Illini basketball team will be back on the court Wednesday night against Valparaiso, and head coach John Groce says the Crusaders will be the biggest team they have faced so far this year. That comes with some concern after Jacksonville State pulled down 25 offensive rebounds against Illinois (2-0) Sunday.
Wayne McClain held his first practice as Champaign Central head basketball coach Monday afternoon. The longtime Illinois assistant takes over for Scott Davis, who resigned after 21 years on the job.
Illinois head coach Tim Beckman said he doesn't talk about the Illini's 19-game Big Ten losing streak with his team, instead he focuses on the positive things they're doing.
Illinois freshman guard Jaylon Tate scored 10 points and had eight assists in the Illini's 24-point win over Jacksonville State Sunday. His performance is getting high praise from head coach John Groce, who said he expects big things from the Chicago Simeon product this season.
The Illinois women's soccer team qualified for the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season. The Illini are an at-large team and play Washington State Saturday in Pullman, Washington.
Illinois senior guard Joseph Bertrand recorded his first career double-double, leading Illinois to an 86-62 win over Jacksonville State. Bertrand scored 20 points and grabbed ten rebounds as the Illini improved to 2-0 on the season.
Football, volleyball and cross country scores and highlights.
The Illinois football team fell to Indiana 52-35 Saturday, losing their 19th straight Big Ten game. The Illini defense surrendered over 600 yards of total offense. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for a career-high 450 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a losing effort. Illinois hosts Ohio State next week.
CHAMPAIGN -- It was a loud, cheering sea of orange and blue sweeping into the State Farm Center Friday.
Champaign-native Rayvonte Rice scored a team-high 22 points and pulled down 9 rebounds in his Illinois debut to lead the Orange and Blue past Alabama State 80-63 in the season opener for both teams. Nnanna Egwu (10 points, 10 rebounds) tallied his second-consecutive double-double dating back to last season. Senior Joseph Bertrand added 14 points and 8 rebounds, while junior Tracy Abrams chipped in 9 points, while dishing out 3 assists.
The Illinois football players are calling Saturday's game at Indiana a must-win. They understand what is at stake. Illinois has to win 3 of their last 4 games to become bowl eligible, and with undefeated Ohio State still on the schedule, that makes this game against the Hoosiers that much more important.
The Illini women jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead before the Bradley Braves stormed back to stun the Illini 98-92 in both teams' season opener. It's the second straight year Matt Bollant's Illini have lost to the Braves.
Former Centennial Charger Rayvonte Rice will take the floor in a game for the first time Friday when the Illini open the regular season.
Scores and highlights from sectional volleyball championships.
The Unity Rockets will play without starting quarterback Justin Deters Saturday in the second round of the IHSA football playoffs at Williamsville. Taylor White will start in his place. Deters was ejected from last week's game after picking up two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties. IHSA rules force him to sit out Saturday as well. The good news for Unity is they will have starting running back Conner Grace back this week.
The Illinois basketball team only has ten scholarship players eligible to play this season. The starting line-up is experienced, but the Illini are counting on a young bench to give the team depth.