Time of essence for Griffin

Damir Krupalija had his knee operated on last summer and was back hopping around like nothing happened a month later. Sergio McClain had the same surgery and didn't feel up to speed for a good two months.

But in each of those Illini's cases, time wasn't of the essence. Krupalija and McClain went under the knife in early July – three months before the start of basketball practice – and could afford to take it slow and easy.

Holcombe, White enjoy Super ride

ST. LOUIS – Mike White was a part of this scene before, but the NFC Championship postgame celebration was a first for Robert Holcombe.

White had many victory parties while coaching the Illini during the glory days of the early 1980s. Holcombe was a star during the lean years of the mid-1990s.

UI women''s basketball boxscore

Illinois 82, Northwestern 65

Wildcats hosting reunion

EVANSTON – The crowd at Sunday's Northwestern-Illinois women's basketball game totaled 2,117, but only about 80 percent of them had some sort of personal relationship with one of the players on the court.

Reunion Day took over at Welsh-Ryan Arena as six Chicago-area natives on the UI roster returned to a friendly environment. They faced seven Wildcats who played their prep basketball in or around Chicago.

UI wrestlers win twice

Adam Tirapelle, ranked second nationally at 149 pounds, won two wrestling matches Sunday as sixth-ranked Illinois earned dual-meet victories against Ohio State and Brown in Columbus, Ohio.

Catchings comes to Illinois' rescue

EVANSTON – When saddled with a losing streak that must have seemed like it began a decade ago, it helps to face a Big Ten bottom-feeder, and it helps to have a senior like Tauja Catchings.

No. 13 Illinois got both Sunday. Northwestern helped, but Catchings provided more.

Illinois men''s basketball boxscore

Illinois 87, Penn State 76

Illini survive Griffin's absence, break losing streak

CHAMPAIGN – Their Big Ten losing streak's gone. And so's their starting center.

Where do the Marcus Griffin-less Illini go from here?

"It's been a tough-luck season, but we're a very resilient team," senior Victor Chukwudebe said. "Just like Coach said when we found out the news about Marcus this morning: 'Don't hang your heads. Just keep going forward.'

Hunter handles point guard role as true freshman

CHAMPAIGN – Penn State's Helen Darling wasn't much of a pain, and the Miller twins at Georgia went down with little more than a whimper.

For Illinois freshman point guard Shavonna Hunter, it hasn't been the big names that have caused trouble. When you're a freshman starting at point guard, everything along the road – big name opponent or not – is a potential pothole.

Powell: An Illini fan from Day 1

   JOLIET -- The Mount Zion Full Gospel Tabernacle is a cozy, little house of worship full of good music and good people, but like any 50-year-old building, it could use a makeover.

   The red shag carpets starting to show its age. Rest rooms need to be added. And a few more rows of pews would help accommodate the growing congregation.