Roundup: Azie, Riley lead way
MADISON, Wis. — Andrew Riley has a chance to win more Big Ten track titles today. And he could get a push from his teammates.
In the 100, Riley qualified third with a time of 10.48 seconds. Two spots ahead of him stood Illini Stanley Azie, who clocked a 10.35.
"Stanley (Azie) looked great in all three of his races," Illinois men's coach Mike Turk said. "He always seems to step up at the Big Ten meet."
Riley also qualified in the 110 high hurdles, posting the fourth-best time (13.94). Azie had the fourth-best time in the 200 (20.83).
"The key for today was how many qualifiers we could get for the finals," Turk said. "The goal was 10 and we got nine. We have some good representation in several different events and potential for some big points (Sunday)."
In the first decathlon of his career, Illinois freshman Corey Harmon set a school record with 7,150 points. He finished ninth, one spot off the podium.
In the women's shot put, Mahomet-Seymour's Dani Bunch won the title for Purdue with a throw of 54 feet.
In the women's 400 hurdles, Illini Latoya Griffith had the top qualifying time, 57.56 seconds. In the 200, teammate Ashley Spencer had the best qualifying time, 23.14 seconds. And Spencer had the best time in the 400 prelims, finishing in 51.99.
In the 100 hurdles, Illini Jesica Ejesieme and Breeana Coleman qualified second and third.
In women's golf:
Illinois shot a final-round 302 to finish tied for 14th in the NCAA West Regional at Eerie, Colo. The top eight teams advance to the national tournament. The Illini finished 10 strokes behind No. 8 Oklahoma.
"It was certainly well within reach today, but we needed a solid round of golf," Illinois coach Renee Slone said. "There were some really good rounds posted today, and we just didn't keep pace."
Ember Schuldt led the Illini overall, tying for 35th at 223. She shot a final-round 73. Katelin Dilger and Samantha Sloan tied for 49th with 226s. Nora Lucas and Hailey Koschmann tied for 72nd at 229.
Penn State took its second consecutive game against Illinois, hitting four home runs in an 8-6 win at Medlar Field.
The Illini jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first. Thomas Lindauer singled and moved to third on Willie Argo's double. Justin Parr singled, driving home Lindauer, and third baseman Brandon Hohl's sacrifice fly to left scored Argo. After stealing second, Parr scored on Thomas Shelton's single.
Illinois led 3-1 before the Nittany Lions tied it with two runs in the fourth. Penn State took the lead with two more runs in the fifth. A single run in the sixth and two more in the seventh put Illinois back in front 6-5.
Penn State took the lead for good on Sean Deegan's three-run homer in the seventh. It was his second home run of the game and 10th of the season.
Illinois outhit the Nittany Lions 14-8.
"We swung the bats much better today, but it's tough to defend the long ball," Illinois coach Dan Hartleb said. "If you look at where those pitches were against the only guys in their lineup with some power, they weren't very good. They drove in a bunch of runs with just four swings of the bat. We cut down on strikeouts and took better swings, but we didn't pitch well. It's frustrating because our guys are doing a good job of battling and they have a good attitude, but we have to do things the right way more often."
Illinois dropped to 26-23 overall and 9-11 in the Big Ten. The team stands eighth in the Big Ten standings. Just the top six earn a trip to the league's postseason tournament.
Northwestern sent 14 batters to the plate in the fourth inning and scored nine runs in a 10-2 win against Illinois. It was the second-most runs in an inning ever for the Wildcats, who improved to 27-27 overall and14-10 in the Big Ten.
Illinois dropped to 27-26 overall and 10-14 in the league. Jackie Guy homered for the Illini.