In 49 other states, it is just basketball, but not in Indiana. And tonight, the state's biggest college rivalry finally got the kind of game it deserves.
Game of the Night: PURDUE @ INDIANA!!!
The best rivalry in the conference (bring on the disagreements in the comments) finally lived up to its billing after a string of blowouts and meaningless games. Purdue came in needing a marquee road win to boost their bubble resume, while a the Hoosiers tried to keep the B1G tournament double-bye within reach. It was a close game throughout, with lots of momentum shifts and dunks, including a nasty one by Jon Octeus. Indiana had the halftime lead 27-25, but in the second half the Boilers controlled the tempo and the lead most of the way until a Yogi Ferrell three put IU ahead 61-60. Purdue kept their composure though, and Rapheal Davis took the ball to basket for a layup to take back the lead.
After trading layups, Davis went to line and hit one of two to give the Boilermakers a two point lead. IU had a chance to win it, but Ferrell's three missed off the front of the rim and A.J. Hammons hit two free throws to seal it 67-63. Hammons finished with 20 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks as he continues to look like an all-conference player. Fellow big Isaac Haas also looked good, finishing with 12 points and 9 boards, and Davis chipped in 11 and 10 himself. Ferrell continued to be stellar for IU, ending the game with 21 points. 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Fellow Hoosier James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams both scored 14. Both teams face Rutgers next, IU on Sunday in New Jersey, and Purdue at home after a week off.
Nebraska @ Maryland
The Cornhuskers kept it close all game, but it wasn't meant to be as the Terrapins successfully defended their home court yet again. Nebraska was with three in the last minute but a Dez Wells steal kept the visitors from getting any closer than that in what was a very tight game. The Huskers' Walter Pitchford has 19 and 7 off the bench, and star player Terran Petteway added 8 points and 9 assists on an off shooting night. For the Terps, Melo Trimble exploded with 26 points, 6 boards and 5 assists. Wells and Jake Layman both added 14 points of their own for the 69-65 victory. Nebraska plays host to Iowa Sunday. Maryland gets the weekend off before welcoming Wisconsin to the east coast on Tuesday.
Rutgers @ Iowa
Iowa scored 81, and Rutgers scored 47. Not a lot else to say...
Jarrod Uthoff led all scorers with 14 and Aaron White added another 13 for Iowa. Rutgers' Myles Mack and D.J. Foreman scored double-figures with 11 and 10 respectively. Iowa takes a trip to Lincoln to face a hungry Nebraska team on Sunday, while Rutgers hosts Indiana.