It wasn't a massive night on paper for the Big Ten with two underdogs traveling, but there were still two games with potential upset ramifications. After all, having a successful season can often be determined by games against "lesser" opponents.
Let's take a look at the action.
Game of the Night: Rutgers Scarlet Knights 68, Ohio State Buckeyes 94
Despite the final score, this was the better of the two games played in the Big Ten Wednesday night. This is largely because of the way the Scarlet Knights hung with the Buckeyes in the first half. In the end, Ohio State outscored Rutgers 55-27 in the second half after trailing at halftime to pull away.
As Corey Sanders went in the first half, so did the Scarlet Knights. The Freshman guard scored 16 points in the first half and carried a Rutgers team that came in with an 0-4 Big Ten record. The two teams got out of the gates quick with Rutgers taking a 21-20 lead half way through the first half after a Bishop Daniels three pointer. The Scarlet Knights continued to lead for most of the first half, including having a 39-32 lead with 1:30 left in the half.
The momentum started to swing in the last 1:30 of the first half as the Buckeyes finished on a 7-2 run to go in to the half down 41-39. This carried over to the second half when Ohio State immediately went on a 13-0, extending its run to 20-2 and opening up a 52-41 lead. JaQuan Lyle was huge for Thad Matta as he posted a triple double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. All five Buckeye starters were in double figures, with Kam Williams adding 14 off the bench.
The Buckeyes will now face a huge test on Saturday when they travel to Maryland as the Terps are coming off just their 2nd loss of the year. The Scarlet Knights will host Purdue on Monday.
With 19:13 left in the first half, Brandon Taylor hit a 3 pointer to put the Nittany Lions up 3-0. That would be the only lead they would have, as Purdue blew past Penn State 74-57. The loss dropped Penn State to 1-4 in the conference while Purdue climbed to 3-2.
Brandon Taylor did everything he could to keep the Lions in it early as he scored 9 of Penn State's first 20 points, and his team trailed 28-22 with a little over 3 minutes to play in the first half. In the last 3 minutes, however, the Boilermakers would extend their lead to 13 with a 10-3 run to close out the first half. Vince Edwards led Matt Painter's squad in the first half with 11 points and would finish the game with 19.
The second 20 minutes were uneventful, as Penn State trailed by at least 14 the whole second half. The Nittany Lions just couldn't get anything going on the offensive side of the ball as Donovan Jack was the only Lion in double figures besides Taylor's 21. Purdue also pounded Penn State on the glass, as they do most games, out-rebounding the visitors 42-25 including 14 offensive rebounds.
While Purdue's backcourt did not have a good shooting day, as Johnny Hill and Rafael Davis shot just a combined 2-11, the four bigs for the Boilermakers made up for it. Edwards, Isaac Haas, AJ Hammons, and Caleb Swanigan shot a combined 22-37 for 59 of Purdue's 74 points. The size and length just proved to be too much for Penn State up front.
Purdue now has the weekend off before they travel to Rutgers on Monday. The Lions will stay on the road as they travel to Northwestern on Saturday.