The Big Ten closed out the exhibition season with three more wins last night. Now that all of the exhibition games have been played, the teams will start preparing for their openers this weekend.
Indiana 73 Bellarmine 62
Indiana returned for a second exhibition game last night, this time looking a bit less impressive against Division II opponent Bellarmine. Of course Bellarmine is a top five D-II program, but Tom Crean and company were probably hoping for something a bit more than an 11 point victory. The first half started off well enough for the Hoosiers, holding their opponent to only 20 points and opening up a lead that at one point was 23 points (32-9). Bellarmine would come back early in the second half, narrowing the deficit to seven points, before Indiana would reopen a double digit lead. While Indiana would keep them at bay the remainder of the game, they could never truly open up the game and Bellarmine kept it at least somewhat interesting, especially compared to most exhibition games.
For the Hoosiers it was basically the Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams show, with the duo scoring 41 of the teams 73 points. Past them three players scored 8 points, but no one else reached double figures. Troy Williams, who was the biggest turnover culprit last time out, led the team again with four turnovers. The Hoosiers did manage to improve their ball security, only committing 13 turnovers yesterday. Part of the reason Indiana couldn't blow by Bellarmine, like they did versus Ottawa, likely stemmed from the fact that 25 of their 58 field goals were three pointers and they could only convert on 32% of those attempts. That's also including Ferrell's 5 of 9 night, with the rest of the team only hitting 3 of their 16 attempts.
While last night's game wasn't as smooth as their first exhibition game, it's still only an exhibition. The Hoosiers will now shift their focus to their opener against Eastern Illinois this weekend.
Michigan State 93 Ferris State 57
Bryn Forbes once again lead the Spartans in scoring as the guard added 16 points to help anchor State's 93-57 victory over Ferris State. Also reaching double digits for Michigan State were Denzel Valentine (15) and Gavin Schilling (12), while the team once again shot efficiently from the field (56.5% field goal, 42.9% from three). Freshman Matt McQuaid, who has been making some waves this offseason, had a nice night with 9 points and 8 assists in 22 minutes of playing time. The Spartans opened up a sizable lead early on before allowing Ferris State to trim the lead down to 12 points. Michigan State closed things out in decisive fashion, though, finishing the game with a 31-7 run.
Nebraska 95 Northern State 42
The Cornhuskers had an easy time with Northern State, rolling past their opponent by 53 points. The game, which aired live on BTN, was never close as the Cornhuskers ran out to a 43-21 lead at the break thanks to a 20-0 run midway throughout the first half. Leading the team in scoring with 18 points was Kansas transfer Andrew White III, while returning veterans Tai Webster and Shavon Shields also added 14 points. Freshman Jack McVeigh also impressed with 11 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. There were still some things Nebraska could have done better, such as committing only 10 assists on 35 field goals or the team's so-so performance from outside, but the decisive win should be a nice boost to morale as the Cornhuskers prepare for their opener against Mississippi Valley State this weekend.