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CHAMPAIGN – The maturation of a senior-less Illinois women's basketball team nearly took a significant step forward on Sunday.
Seconds away from a key win at the Assembly Hall, the Illini watched Northwestern's Beth Marshall sink an overtime-inducing three-pointer at the buzzer, a shot that eventually led to a 69-66 Wildcats victory.
A look at how former Illini fared in the NFL this week
Final: Northwestern 69, Illinois 66
To end a 21-game losing streak to Illinois, Northwestern needed some heroic measures. Beth Marshall provided them.
Marshall's three-pointer at the buzzer forced overtime, and the Wildcats' guard sank all four of her foul shots in the final minute.
CHAMPAIGN – With an entry of his own in the final race of the Charger Invitational, Champaign Central coach Matt Hopkins normally would have had tunnel vision.
Not on this day. Not with the fierce, eye-drawing battle being waged at the front of the 400-yard freestyle relay by a trifecta of other teams.
At Kesslers Shootout. WILL FIRKINS (14 points), CHASE PATTON (11) and CONNOR HESTERBURG (10) led a balanced scoring attack as St. Joseph-Ogden beat Warrensburg-Latham 50-39.
KYLE MESSMAN had 17 points – including five three-pointers – in Unity's 55-54 loss to Orion.
URBANA – It didn't take long at Kenney Gym on Saturday night to figure out which team was the one ranked fourth in state.
Paxton-Buckley-Loda jumped on Urbana Uni High early, taking a 6-0 lead less than a minute into the game before rolling to a 63-34 win.
Like a lot of us, Joe Witte is disappointed with the Big Ten's new logo.
So much so that the Penn State grad is offering $500 for someone to trump it.
CHAMPAIGN – Davis Fraker wasted no time making an impact at Illinois.
The freshman from Peachtree City, Ga., set a school record in the weight throw on his first college attempt. His throw of 66 feet, 10 3/4 inches was good for first place in Saturday's track and field indoor meet against Iowa at the UI Armory.
WILDCATS 61, ILLINI 58
Wrestled with this one all week, until the coin finally landed on tails. The challenge for Illinois is rooted in its mental preparation. If the Illini think the Wildcats will lay down because they've lost 21 straight in the series, it could be a rough afternoon for the home team. Northwestern is legit. The Wildcats, meanwhile, could use a good road win. They haven't won away from Welsh-Ryan Arena since November. Wait. Where's that coin again ...