Illini women's tough defense stifles Wildcats

CHAMPAIGN – What started as a shaky beginning turned into the best defensive product in Illinois' Big Ten history.

Northwestern, winless in conference play, led the Illinois women 26-25 with 3 1/2 minutes to play in the first half Thursday. Moments later, the Illini embarked on a 39-9 run that helped put Northwestern in their record book. The Illini rolled to a 65-45 victory in front of 3,391 at the Assembly Hall.

Junior college transfers get a jump on the rest

CHAMPAIGN – The crack-of-dawn workouts haven't scared them away. Neither have the size and experience of their new teammates.

Jamie Hanton and Mario Ivy walked away from junior colleges and into the Big Ten. Thankfully for both, they made it a semester early.

Outfielder signs with UI softball

Casey-Westfield outfielder LeeAnn Butcher signed a national letter of intent Thursday with Illinois' softball program.

Illini soccer inks three

The UI women's soccer team signed goalkeeper Leisha Alcia, forward Tara Hurless and midfielder Christine Sinak.

Losing streak to Purdue a pain

CHAMPAIGN – Just when you thought it was safe to play Purdue again, along comes a haunting reminder of an Illinois losing streak that is reaching epidemic proportions:

Brian Cardinal.

UI women''s basketball box score vs. Northwestern

Illinois 65, Northwestern 45

Illini Insider

News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s review and preview of Illinois sports:

Big Ten women lagging behind in NCAA's eyes

CHAMPAIGN – It was a startling admission, given the source.

Coaches rarely take a shot at their own league, instead taking a tack that everyone will believe their claims of superiority in the battle of conferences.

Penn State's Rene Portland is a realist.

Tate: New recruits puts Illinois on right road

Let's all agree:

Nobody really knows about 18-year-old football recruits.

Joe Tiller's Rose Bowl team was led by veterans – Drew Brees, Vinny Sutherland, Akin Ayodele, Tim Stratton – who ranked 11th in the Big Ten as Purdue's recruiting class in 1997.

Popularity an Illini plus

   Bill Self ran into a long line at lunch Wednesday at Silvercreek  on his way out of the Urbana restaurant.

   It took him 10 minutes to reach his car.