Hopefully fans of the Big Ten decided to make Tuesday their Thanksgiving week travel day, because sitting in front of the television Tuesday to watch basketball was nothing but a disappointment. I am required to deem a "Game of the Night", so let's get on with it.
Game of the Night: Northwestern Wildcats 67, Missouri Tigers 62
This was a hard choice for me to make because, let's be honest, Tuesday was lackluster at best. Northwestern gets the nod for taking down a power 5 conference squad, even if it is an SEC team. The Wildcats tried their best Rutgers impression by giving up a 20 point first half lead, but Northwestern is actually decent and managed to stave off a late Missouri charge.
Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh led the way for Northwestern, both scoring 13 points on a combined 10-of-19 shooting. Again, if your're looking for a quality basketball game that wins the "Game of the Night" award you've come to the wrong place. It is quite inexplicable that Missouri even had a chance in the closing minutes of this game when comparing the teams' shooting stats. Northwestern shot nearly 47-percent from the field, 43.5-percent from 3-point range, while Missouri shot just under 39-percent from the floor and just 28-percent from outside,
I drew the short straw for this week, I am not happy about, so let's just get through the garbage together.
Here's a shock. Indiana lost in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday, and now the Hoosiers have made it painfully obvious that they have no desire of still being in Hawaii, at least to play basketball. Let's not sugar-coat this, St. John's is a bad basketball team. Indiana did just enough to keep the Red Storm at bay, hovering around a 10 point lead.
Yogi Ferrell had a nice bounce back game with 22 points, 7 assists. Thomas Bryant also managed to drop a career-high 19 points. The biggest bit of news is that James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams were pulled from the starting lineup, both responded well as Blackmon scored 12 on 5-of-8 shooting and Williams grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds to go with 7 points. Good thing that we get that IU-UNLV match-up everyone wanted on Wednesday.
Maryland continues to not look like the No.2 team in the country, as the Terrapins held just a 1-point halftime lead in this one. Diamond Stone played all of 10 minutes as Damonte Dodd thrived in replacement duty scoring 13 points. Rasheed Sulaimon led the way with 18 points as the four other starters all scored in double figures. Maryland has two more tuneups before a showdown with North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where we will see how good this team actually is.
Did you set out two hours of your day to watch this game? Me neither. Nebraska is off to a solid start at 4-1 with its lone loss to a borderline top-10 team in Villanova. The Cornhuskers have two ranked opponents up next on the docket, and we shall see if Nebraska has any hope for this season.
Same song second verse on this one. Seriously, not even Penn State students can be bothered to watch their basketball team play. I'll take blame for Penn State's last few days, I went on this site's weekly podcast and praised the Nittany Lions for their win against DePaul, looking like the best of the lower-tiered Big Ten teams during the first week. Penn State has taken my vote of confidence and just completely ruined it, losing their last two games. At least at this point I'll still vote them ahead of Illinois in the Power Rankings.
Saving the best for last, Ohio State managed to lose at home for the second game in a row, solidifying that this indeed a rebuilding year for Thad Matta and company. Louisiana Tech managed to score three times as many points off of turnovers than the Buckeyes, 15-5, being the key difference in a game that the Bulldogs held the lead for the majority of. Marc Loving was a bright spot, scoring 25 points, but the freshmen need to adapt more quickly if the Buckeyes have any chances of salvaging this season.
Hopefully the games are infinitely better on Wednesday.