Six Big Ten teams were in action yesterday and everything went as anticipated, with B1G teams winning all but one contest in what was the final non-conference test for many.
Cincinnati 74-59 Nebraska: The Huskers had a tall task ahead of them on Saturday, taking on the 10-2 Bearcats in only their second true road game of the season. Cincinnati is one of the best defensive teams in the country and it showed, flustering Nebraska at times with full-court pressure. Ray Gallegos had perhaps his best game of the season, scoring 18 points and adding 3 assists before fouling out at the very end. Terran Petteway continued his run of impressive performances, going 4-5 from deep and finishing with 22 points, including 19 in the second half. With a mediocre non-conference season in the books, the Cornhuskers look ahead to Iowa on New Year's Eve.
Wisconsin 80-43 Prairie View A&M: Wisconsin saved its easiest non-conference game for last and had no problems dispatching the Panthers. After a two-week break Wisconsin got right to work, building a 23-6 lead early and never looking back. Sam Dekker netted 16 points and added 11 boards for his third double-double of the season, and Frank Kaminsky added 10 points and 7 rebounds on the day. Oh, and this happened:
Michigan State 101-48 New Orleans: The injury bug bit the Spartans again as Branden Dawson missed this game with a shin injury (shinjury?) sustained the day before. He should be fine for conference play, though. Spartan fans had to be happy with Keith Appling's performance as he burst out of a slump to pour in 27 points, including 4-4 from deep, and adding 8 assists. Michigan State had this one in the bag early, but this game went from comfortable win to epic blowout after MSU outscored the Privateers 35-8 in the final ten minutes. MSU travels to Penn State on New Year's Eve to kick off conference action.
Illinois 74-60 UIC: It was a tale of two halves at the United Center. UIC slowly built a lead at the hands of former Purdue guard Kelsey Barlow and led the Illini by 10 at the break. Illinois apparently flipped a switch at halftime, scoring 8 points in the first minute and holding the Flames to a mere 16 points in the entire half en route to victory. The Illini were led once again by Rayvonte Rice and his 28 point, 7 rebound contribution. Illinois hosts Indiana on Tuesday.
Michigan 88-66 Holy Cross: Game 2 of the post-McGary era was a success for the Wolverines as they did well against a deceptively-decent Holy Cross team that fought tough against Harvard and North Carolina earlier this season. Glenn Robinson III helped carry the load with a season high 23 points, and Jordan Morgan got his second start of the season and responded with 6 points and 5 boards. Michigan will face a much tougher test on Thursday when it visits Minnesota.
Minnesota 65-44 Texas A&M Corpus Christi: Speaking of Minnesota, the Gophers rounded out the night with a win over the Islanders. Minnesota jumped out to a 20-8 lead early but never truly pulled away from a much weaker Islanders squad. They'll need to improve their play to make some noise in conference action. Andre and Austin Hollins combined for 31 points and the Gophers held TAMCC to just 1-15 shooting from deep.
Big Ten action kicks off with four games on Tuesday, including contests with OSU, MSU, and Iowa. Will chalk prevail, or will we see fireworks from the start?
- Post Game: Shields Shrinks in Huskers' Road Loss
- Preview: Michigan v. Holy Cross - How Much Will Wolverines Miss McGary?
- Preview: Michigan State vs. New Orleans - Will Denzel Valentine Be A Factor Again?
- Friday Night Recap: Big Ten's 17 Game Winning Streak Comes To A Close
- Preview: UIC vs. Illinois - Can Tracy Abrams Stay Hot?