Life on the road has never been easy in this conference, and Saturday was a perfect example of that fact. Every single away team came into their game with a better conference record than their host, but by the time the dust settled only one would walk away with a victory.
Game of the Day: #6 Wisconsin @ Michigan
It doesn't always happen this way in college basketball, but on Saturday the most entertaining game in the conference was the highest-billed one. Michigan was able to force overtime against the top team in the conference, while playing without their best player in Caris LeVert. The Badgers led most of the way and were up 38-27 at one point in the second half, but the Wolverines kept fighting back and played inspired basketball. It was Derrick Walton Jr who hit the three with just one second left to send the game to an extra period off of a smart pass from Aubrey Dawkins. Unfortunately for UM, they would fall behind early in OT and lose 69-64.
Wisconsin was led on the day by Frank Kaminsky, just doing what Frank Kaminsky does, notching 22 points and 9 rebounds, including a critical and one play to start OT. Sam Dekker would add 15 points, while Bronson Koenig had 13 and 4 assists filling in for Traevon Jackson. For Michigan, Walton led the way with 17 points and 5 boards, and Zak Irvin contributed 12 points. Next up for Bo Ryan's team is a trip to Iowa next Saturday, while Michigan plays host to Nebraska on Tuesday.
Rutgers @ Penn State
Penn State finally gets a W! And it was in very convincing fashion against their old A-10 rivals the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers struggled on both sides of the ball, giving up 16 turnovers and letting PSU shoot 50% from beyond the arc. The Nittany Lions were, of course, led by D.J. Newbill who scored 23. They also got good games from Shep Garner (13 points) and Brandon Taylor (16 & 6 rebounds) who left the game late with a knee injury. RU got a good game out of Kadeem Jack with 19 points, but Myles Mack struggled, scoring 8 points, but shooting 3-11 while doing so. Penn State will try for win number two when they play Minnesota at home on Wednesday, and Rutgers returns home to face Michigan State on Tuesday.
#25 Iowa @ Purdue
Purdue Boilermakers were able to snap a streak of 13-straight losses to ranked teams on Saturday, against an Iowa Hawkeyes team still reeling from the 32-point drubbing they received at Wisconsin. The Boilers were in control most of the game, but Mike Gesell took over after foul trouble caused Jon Octeus to go to the bench. Iowa took a one-point lead with a minute left after a Gesell jumper, but Rapheal Davis drained a three on the other end and after two Basil Smotherman rebounds and free throws it was a 67-63 win for Purdue. Davis had 24 for Purdue, while Smotherman finished with 13 and 6. Iowa's Aaron White left the game early with a shoulder injury. Gesell scored 18 for the Hawkeyes in White's absence, while Gabriel Olaseni grabbed an incredible 16 boards off the bench. Purdue will face rival Indiana at home on Wednesday, and Iowa will wait until next Saturday before they get another crack at Wisconsin, this time at home.
Illinois @ Minnesota
Minnesota is trying to turn its B1G season around, and a victory at home against Illinois definitely helps. It was a back-and-forth until the Gophers went on a 12-0 run midway through the second half and the Illini were never able to recover. Minnesota won 79-71, thanks in large part to a 28 point, 5 assist performance from senior Andre Hollins. Maurice Walker also had a big game with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Carlos Morris added 16 points. Illinois' Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill both scored 18 and Jaylon Tate added 11 points and 9 assists. Next up for Minnesota is a trip to Penn State on Wednesday, then the Nittany Lions will head to Illinois on Saturday.
Michigan State @ Nebraska
Nebraska looked good despite missing David Rivers and having Walter Pitchford tossed early for what appeared to be an intentional elbow to Matt Costello's head. Luckily for Husker fans, they still had Terran Petteway, and sometimes that's just about all you need. Petteway played all 40 minutes and scored 32 points, teammate Shavon Shields added 21 and New Zealander Tai Webster had one of his best games for Nebraska with 13. Michigan State trailed most of the way, finding themselves down 8 with 40 seconds to go they were able to piece together a quick 7-1 run and force Nebraska to try and inbound with 2.2 seconds. Bryn Forbes got credit for a steal, but didn't have enough time to get a shot off as the Spartans fell 79-77. Travis Trice scored 27 for MSU, while Denzel Valentine had 21 points and 11 boards and Branden Dawson had 8 and 18 respectively. Nebraska travels to Michigan on Tuesday, while Michigan State heads to Rutgers.