Four B1G teams played on Thursday night, but only one of them seemed like they really wanted to take home a win. Ohio State and Northwestern were both apparently trying to give away the early game in Evanston, while Maryland just couldn't keep pace with a hot shooting Hoosiers team.
Game of the Night: #13 Maryland @ #23 Indiana
The story of this game can be told with a single number and a single letter: 3s. It seemed like almost everything was going down from behind the arc for the Hoosiers, especially in the second half. IU jumped out to an early lead and led by as many as 9 in the first, but Maryland was able to keep it close and went into the break down 38-35. Near the start of the second half the Hoosiers stretched the lead little by little, then near the 10 minute mark it seemed like every time the Terps would score, IU would answer with a triple. By the end of the game it was a blowout, 89-70.
Yogi Ferrell had what was possibly the best game of his career as he scored 24 points on 8-10 shooting, including 7-8 from deep and added 5 assists and 0 turnovers. IU as a team shot 15-22 from beyond the arc, Collin Hartman was 3-3 and ended with 15 total points, while teammate James Blackmon went 3- and finished with 22. For Maryland, their big three combined for 32, but their numbers were rather unremarkable when compared to their opponents. Jake Layman led with 13 points, Melo Trimble had 10 and Dez Wells had 9. Jared Nickens went 4-7 from three for 12 total points as well. Next up for Indiana, as they try to maintain their B1G lead, is a trip to Ohio State on Sunday. Maryland will return to College Park and welcome Northwestern on Sunday.
Ohio State @ Northwestern
Northwestern missed yet another opportunity to steal their second conference victory late in a game. Up four with under a minute to go Ohio State missed the front-end of three one-and-ones and committed a turnover, but Northwestern was unable to capitalize until it was too late. Bryant McIntosh's layup cut the lead to two with 8 seconds left, but D'Angelo Russell hit both of his free throws after an NU foul. Tre Demps hit a three, but there was too little time left as they fouled Russell again, but never got a shot off after he missed the second with 0.9 seconds left`. The Buckeyes won 69-67.
Russell had a masterful performance, scoring 33 rebounding 7 and dishing out 6 assists. The only other Buckeye in double-figures was Sam Thompson with 11. For Northwestern, Alex Olah proved to be effective inside, especially early on when they jumped out to a 21-10 lead, before OSU came roaring back before halftime. Olah finished 16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Junoir Tre Demps added 14 points and 4 assists. Norhtwestern travels to Maryland Sunday, while the Buckeyes will try to defend their home court against a hot-shooting Indiana team.