UI softball in big time

The Illinois softball team showed Friday it's not afraid of big-time opponents.

After losing its first game of the Worth Invitational at Boca Raton, Fla., the UI faced No. 16 Florida State – the first ranked foe in its short history.

Tate: Illini team will miss Manual duo

The Big Ten has fielded 100 Jerry Hesters, and any number of guards cut from the Kiwane Garris cloth.

But there isn't another Sergio McClain. He's one of a kind, a linebacker who comes through loud and clear even as his tone is barely above a whisper.

Walk-ons Mast, Cross inspire Illini teammates

CHAMPAIGN – Nate Mast might have jumped higher the night he became a member of the Illinois men's basketball team than he ever did on the court.

After a tryout during his freshman year at Illinois, the former Champaign Central standout was staked out by the phone at his parents' house waiting for a call.

Williams can''t repeat the feat

   COLUMBUS, Ohio  For all Frank Williams knew, Archie Griffin was in on the last play of Thursday''s game, helping the Buckeyes play defense.

   That''s how crowded things looked to the Illinois point guard as he weaved upcourt with his team trailing 63-61.

UI Men''s Basketball Game 27 Box Score

Ohio State 63, Illinois 61

UI Women''s Basketball Game 27 Box Score

Illini 54, Hoosiers 50

Ohio State's Johnson stands tall

COLUMBUS, Ohio – If there were a national award for most improved player over four years, Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien has the guy.

O'Brien said senior center Ken Johnson hs come "light years" since his freshman year. Nobody ever came farther, O'Brien said.

Tate: Buckeyes remember to double down


Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien didn't need an elephant's memory to anticipate what he needed to do Thursday night in the Schottenstein Center.

Dallas takes a seat to rest ailing knee

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Illinois forward Cindy Dallas dressed but did not play in Thursday's key Big Ten victory at Indiana.

UI coach Theresa Grentz said Dallas has been bothered by knee soreness after twisting her right knee in Sunday's game. Dallas did not practice this week.

Hurry up and wait

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Marcus Griffin had Saturday all mapped out.

He'd celebrate Senior Day first, take care of Iowa second and soak in his first Big Ten championship third. The Assembly Hall net he planned to cut down was going to stay around his neck while he snored through the night.