Six Big Ten teams were in action on Tuesday night, after what was essentially an empty schedule the previous two days. Unfortunately, the slate of games did not exactly produce any exciting games as every single contest was a double-digit affair with the conference going 3-3 on the night.
Game of the Night: Maryland Terrapins 76, Connecticut Huskies 66
Night's like Tuesday should make fans yearn for the Super Tuesdays that are sure to entertain next month, though any time Melo Trimble is on the World Wide Leader, it makes for at least a good excuse to tune in. Trimble did not disappoint the Madison Square Garden crowd for the Jimmy V Classic, dropping 25 points, albeit, 14 came from the free throw line as the sophomore guard knocked down all but one of his gimmes.
Freshman big man Diamond Stone, who struggled during the first month of his collegiate career, came off the bench for the second game in a row. Mark Turgeon's benching of his prized recruit seemed to be the kick in the rear that Stone needed. For the second game in a row Stone scored 16 points, falling one assist short of a double-double.
UConn's Daniel Hamilton made his best efforts to pull the Huskies back into the game, scoring 23 points and cutting the lead to three with just three minutes left. Trimble was able to seal the deal with 5 of his free throws down the stretch. The Terrapins now have three filler teams (a combined 5 wins between them) left in the non-conference before Big Ten play begins.
Michigan Wolverines 58, SMU Mustangs 82
Caris LeVert certainly had a night to forget against the No.19 SMU Mustangs, scoring just 5 points on 1-13 shooting, including 0-6 from 3-point range. As a team, Michigan managed to shoot just 35-percent from the floor and under 28-percent from outside. On a positive note, sophomore guard Duncan Robinson continues to make a case that he should be in the Wolverines starting lineup, scoring 15 points, (he has had at least 14 in the team's last four games).
SMU senior forward Jordan Tolbert led all scorers with 23 points, as the Mustangs shot over 57-percent from the floor in a game where the Wolverines were kept at bay, trailing by double figures almost the whole way. Despite the loss, Michigan's schedule sets up favorably for the Wolverines to finish the non-conference with ten wins before a soft conference start against Illinois and Penn State.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 70, South Dakota State Jackrabbits 84
After losing to South Dakota on Saturday in double overtime, South Dakota State gave Minnesota a reason not to schedule against the Summit League, (or the state of South Dakota for that matter) for the foreseeable future. The Golden Gophers received little production from their starters, sans 18 points from Nate Mason. The Jackrabbits were lead by senior Jack Bittle, who scored 25 points. Deondre Parks cashed in 21 for South Dakota State as well in a game that was never really in doubt. The schedule does not get any easier fro Minnesota as Oklahoma State is up next.
Ohio State Buckeyes 74, Air Force Falcons 50
The Buckeyes scored a second win in a row to draw back to .500 on the shoulders of Marc Loving's double-double performance. His 18 points and 10 rebounds were both game-highs. Jae'Sean Tate and JaQuan Lyle both scored in double figures as well. The Buckeyes now hit a tough 'make or break' stretch of the early-season schedule as a trip to UConn is next, followed by a matchup with a 7-1 Northern Illinois squad, and finally a showdown with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Penn State Nittany Lions 66, George Washington Colonials 76
Penn State met a solid George Washington team on Tuesday night and while the Nittany Lions kept the game close through all 40 minutes, they never could quite get within true striking distance of the Colonials. Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor continue to be the work horses for Penn State, scoring 22 and 15 points respectively. Tyler Cavanaugh proved to be too much down low, as he scored 18 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Colonials, as George Washington improved to 8-1 on the year.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 75, Central Connecticut Blue Devils 59
Rutgers won a game, so that is a positive. It was against a win-less Central Connecticut team, but you know what they say, "You gotta play the schedule." The Scarlet Knights ended a four-game skid as four players scored in double-figures. Enjoy this one Rutgers fans, because up next is the aforementioned George Washington Colonials, followed by a game against the early bracket-buster darlings Monmouth.