On Sunday, the Big Ten participated in a total of three games. None of the games consisted of marquee matchups, but all three were important games in securing wins for the respective teams and avoiding any upsets. Overall, the Big Ten ended up going 3-0 on the day and extending its record on the season to 42-7.
Game of the Night: Penn State vs. USC
The Nittany Lions concluded their appearance in the Charleston Classic with a win over USC. Penn State won by a final score of 63-61 in another last minute thriller. This certainly was not a good trip for Penn State in the sense that they faced one Top 100 KenPom team and two pretty mediocre teams and it came down to three last minute games. For Penn State, you certainly would have hoped to see some stronger performances from the team. Losing to Charlotte was certainly not a bad loss, but you would have expected two convincing wins following that loss. Still, going 2-1 on the trip isn't a bad thing.
The star of the trip was DJ Newbill. He was named to the All-Tournament team after scoring a tournament record 83 points and 18 rebounds on the trip. Newbill also played major minutes on the trip. In fact, he averaged over 42 minutes in the three games, which is pretty impressive. Another bright spot for Penn State was Shep Garner, who scored more than 10 points in all 3 games and shot 6-9 from 3PT range in the final two games. If Garner can continue to take steps forward, it would be great news for Penn State.
Sacred Heart at Ohio State
The Buckeyes rolled pretty easily over Sacred Heart on Sunday. The notable players in this game were Shannon Scott and D'Angelo Russell, who both had outstanding games. Scott finished with 11 points, but also added 6 rebounds and an incredible 16 assists. Russell scored an impressive 32 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and added 5 assists. Sacred Heart is certainly not a great team, but those are really nice performances by those two players. It was also interesting to see younger players like Keita Bates-Diop and Jae'Sean Tate get time in a blowout win for the Buckeyes. Bates-Diop had 11 points and Tate had 12 points.
St. Francis (NY) at Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights ended up winning a game that was a little bit closer than comfort. Rutgers was predicted by most to beat an overmatched opponent at home, but there were some significant segments in the 2nd Half where St. Francis looked like they might pull off the win. For Rutgers, they finally got Kadeem Jack back. He had 13 points and 5 rebounds on the night. He still looks like he has not fully recovered, but it's big news that he's at least back out there. One player who did not do as well was Bishop Daniels. Most thought he was starting to trend upward, but he ended up with just 2 points on an awful shooting night. He will need to do better going forward.