Sports

Sports

Illinois rewards Groce

CHAMPAIGN — Mike Thomas likes what he sees with the Illinois men's basketball program.

So much so that the Illinois athletic director announced Saturday a one-year extension and a $200,000 raise for coach John Groce that increases his compensation to $1.6 million.

Spring game: Notebook

CHAMPAIGN — Bring out the jabs.

Corey Lewis has heard them before from his Illinois football teammates.

That the sixth-year offensive lineman was in Champaign when Ron Turner was in town from 1997 to 2004.

He wasn’t.

That the Cresco, Pa., native played along the line with former Illinois offensive line coach Luke Butkus from 1998 to 2001.

He didn’t.

Falkin, Kopinski lead win against Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Allison Falkin and Melissa Kopinski set the tone in singles as Illinois won at Ohio State 5-2 on Friday to even its women’s Big Ten tennis record.

Falkin (No. 1 singles) and Kopinski (No. 2) each won in straight sets to help the Illini kick off a weekend road trip in impressive fashion.

SJ-O's Rydell shows way

MONTICELLO — The weather was less than ideal.

Before the meet began, coaches and athletes already were conceding there wouldn’t be many personal bests set and likely no records broken on a day that saw temps fall into the 30s and stretches of light rain as the meet carried on.

Offense powers Johnson, Illini to victory

CHAMPAIGN — Kevin Johnson will have to wait until his next start to become the all-time innings-pitched leader in Illinois baseball history.

Thanks to his teammates, however, the senior right-hander faced no delay Friday night in reaching career victory No. 19.

Salt Fork's Kimbro a cool customer

TOLONO — Salt Fork’s Jenny Kimbro didn’t require much time to make an impact on the area track and field scene.

Friday night, the freshman needed 15.71 seconds.

In the fourth outdoor meet of her prep career, the 26-school Unity Girls’ Invitational, Kimbro not only won the 100-meter hurdles but also covered the distance in a meet-record time. The previous record was 16.01.

Friday's prep highlights: Stewart, Acklin lift SJ-O

In baseball

SJ-O 9, PBL 4. Jake Stewart went 3 for 3 with two runs and three RBI for visiting St. Joseph-Ogden, which received two doubles and one triple from Louis Acklin. Jonah Wilson had three hits for Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

Spring game: 'Great leadership' leads Blue win

CHAMPAIGN — Walking near the weightroom inside Memorial Stadium this week, Bill Cubit didn’t break stride.

“Don’t say anything bad about me,” the new Illinois offensive coordinator joked to Illinois offensive lineman Corey Lewis while Lewis talked to a reporter.

Not much bad could come from the Illinois offense after Friday night’s annual spring game.

Cosby picks Illini

CHAMPAIGN — When he decided to transfer away from Seton Hall last month, guard Aaron Cosby said he was looking for familiarity with the coaching staff and a style of play that best suited his game. He found both of those on his visit to Illinois this weekend, giving John Groce and his staff a verbal commitment late Friday night.

LIVE from the spring game

Staff writer Matt Daniels will be in the (warm) Memorial Stadium pressbox for Friday's chilly Spring Game, providing frequent updates via twitter. Follow along here