Nice try, Illini

CHAMPAIGN – The leading scorer kicked off his Big Ten Freshman of the Year campaign drive with a performance like none Lon Kruger's seen all season.

The fans were so charged up, the players took time out to thank them personally afterward.

OSU''s Redd, Penn slightly off mark

CHAMPAIGN – The Ohio State stars missed their scoring average by four points Saturday. It wasn't for lack of trying.

Michael Redd and Scoonie Penn normally combine for 34 points a game. Illinois held the Buckeye guards to 30.

Armstrong, True head Illini pack

INDIANAPOLIS – Illinois senior Bobby True and sophomore Sherman Armstrong provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with victories Saturday at the Cannon IV Classic indoor track and field meet.

True won the 800 meters in 1 minute, 49.35 seconds. Armstrong won the 200 in a personal-best 21.48.

Illinois women pick up Big Ten slack

   MINNEAPOLIS  For most teams, the loss of a top all-around player would signal distress and desperation.

   Not for Illinois.

   When the Illini learned they would be without injured forward Tauja Catchings on Friday night at Minnesota, they merely shrugged their shoulders and pounded the Gophers 88-69 at the Sports Pavilion.

After solid first half, Big Ten ready to reach new level

The Big Ten likes to think of itself as a trendsetting conference.

Remember, the league started the whole expansion process by adding Penn State. And the 1989 Illinois team was first to wear baggy shorts.

The league is about to set another precedent, becoming the first to put eight teams in the NCAA tournament.

McClain, mates look to take step forward

CHAMPAIGN – The results are in from Sergio McClain's latest checkup, and the news is good for the Illinois sophomore.

The right ankle's fully healed. And his confidence is getting there.

A re-energized McClain will return to the starting lineup today for the Illini's 3:30 p.m. tip against No. 15 Ohio State.

Quirk decision keys wrestlers

Pat Quirk's takedown with 56 seconds left in his 197-pound match resulted in a key 4-3 victory as sixth-ranked Illinois withstood No. 22 Indiana 22-9 in Big Ten wrestling Friday at Huff Hall.

Rossow: OSU knows turnaround can happen

There were times last season when Jason Singleton would rather do anything than go to basketball practice.

Even laundry sounded good.

"The whole year, it was like a dark cloud was hanging over us," the Ohio State senior said. "Things were really discouraging."

Illinois women''s basketball game statistics


At long last

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Cory Bradford looked forward to his first good night's sleep of 1999.

"No more nightmares now," he said. "That's how I get to celebrate."

Cleotis Brown couldn't wait to get to a phone, call Mom back home in Alabama and let her in on the big news.