Houston handles UI

HOUSTON – The streak is over.

Illinois' baseball team met its match in the fifth game this season, suffering its first loss to third-ranked Houston 9-1.

Players give us the inside stuff on Big Ten basketball

   Now that we know who the conference champs are, its time to answer some really important questions about Big Ten basketball.

   Like who throws down the nastiest dunks in the league? And which schools got the craziest crowd?

Illini have rough time against Big Ten elite

INDIANAPOLIS – They had few complaints about the way they played. For Theresa Grentz's Illini, only the outcome was a bummer.

That, and the notion of losing to Penn State and the other upper-echelon Big Ten teams is getting old.

Time isn't an enemy for Illinois

INDIANAPOLIS – OK, Assembly Hall officials, you now can schedule an extra monster truck show. Or circus. Or Cher's return.

The Illinois women's basketball team won't be needing the place March 17-20. Penn State made sure, wearing down the Illini on Saturday in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. The folks who pick the NCAA field won't be calling Illinois to host.

Coach's death stuns UI volleyball family

Sara Sorrell's college volleyball career was at its lowest point. Struggling on the court and with her confidence, the then-Illinois sophomore was in tears after returning to her hotel room in Minneapolis.

Earlier that late-October night in 1997, the former Illini starter appeared briefly in one game during a three-game loss to Minnesota. Her statistical contributions? One kill attempt.

UI prepares for Indiana sequel

CHAMPAIGN – A.J. Guyton probably will score more than three points.

Kirk Haston and Dane Fife probably will start.

Some of the best action happens off the court

We all remember the great shots, spectacular dunks and unbelievable games during the Big Ten season.

When the year is packed up and stored away, what we miss are the subtle, off-the-court moments. Trust us, no reference book will detail the postgame speeches, in-game tirades and pregame tricks of the league players and coaches. But we will.

Illinois women catch on quickly

INDIANAPOLIS – Theresa Grentz and her Illini women have talked long and often about Tauja Catchings' influence on the team's success. On Friday, the Illini proved it's not a required ingredient.

Catchings' 'A' game didn't make the trip to Conseco Fieldhouse for the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal against Michigan State. Illinois' All-America candidate missed 12 of 15 shots and needed a couple free throws in the final minute to break into double figures.

Wilson, Faulkner fill in admirably

INDIANAPOLIS – Where would Illinois have been without Kristi Faulkner and Holly Wilson after Friday's Big Ten tournament opener? Probably on a bus back to Champaign-Urbana.

With All-Big Ten forward Tauja Catchings struggling to find her range and freshman point guard Shavonna Hunter looking her age, the Illini needed a lift. Faulkner and Wilson happily came through.

Illini topple No. 3 team

Chris Basak and D.J. Svihlik helped lead a three-run, ninth-inning rally as visiting Illinois defeated third-ranked Houston 4-3 on Friday in nonconference baseball.

Basak, who went 2 for 5, drove in a run with a fielder's choice before Svihlik singled in the eventual game-winner against the Cougars (11-5).