Game of the Night
Michigan State took down Maryland in what was a must-win game for the Spartans. They had been trending downwards as of late, having lost 3 straight heading into a showdown with the Terrapins in the Breslin Center. A recent home loss to Nebraska emphasized the team's recent struggles. But Tom Izzo's Spartans prevailed in East Lansing once again, managing to take down the 7th ranked Maryland Terrapins 74-65 on Saturday night.
Michigan State's Bryn Forbes had a career night, scoring 25 points on 8-15 shooting from the floor and 4-8 from deep. In addition, the Spartans got a great contribution from Denzel Valentine; he had a near triple-double, tallying 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. Matt Costello rounded out the Spartans with a double-digit performance of his own, notching 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. The Spartans won this game thanks to free throw shooting and offensive rebounds. They went 23-29 (79.3%) from the charity stripe and pulled down 17 offensive boards compared to Maryland's 9.
The Terrapins had yet another great night from star guard Melo Trimble. He had 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists against Michigan State. Robert Carter also found himself in double digits after scoring 15 points on the night. Maryland really struggled to get much going offensively; it went just 22-57 (38.6%) from the floor and 8-27 (29.6%) from deep. In addition, the Terps committed 22 team fouls, allowing the Spartans to have the edge at the line.
Michigan State gets a much needed win to move to 4-4 in the Big Ten; Maryland falls back to 6-2 after losing its second game to a team from the state of Michigan. Though we will not see these teams play again in the regular season, it would not be surprising to see them meet in the Big Ten Tournament. Both have the talent to win the whole thing come March.
The Hoosiers absolutely demolished the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon in order to move to 7-0 in Big Ten play. Indiana is one of the hottest teams in the nation right now, and it continued to prove just how lethal it can be on offense. They lit it up from the floor, shooting 30-57 (52.6%) and knocking down 13 three pointers. Indiana was led by Yogi Ferrell with 17 points and 6 assists, but 11 different players scored for the Hoosiers. Northwestern's Alex Olah, back from injury, led the way for the Wildcats with 19 points on the night.
Illinois Fighting Illini 76, Minnesota Gophers 71
Illinois was able to sneak away with an overtime victory in the Barn on Saturday night, marking its second Big Ten victory this season. Minnesota on the other hand, falls to 0-8 in conference play and really hasn't been able to get anything going. The Illini were led by Malcolm Hill with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Maverick Morgan and Kendrick Nunn also made it into double figures with 14 and 13 respectively. Minnesota's Joey King led the Gophers with 20 points, but they shot just 27-69 (39.1%) as a team on Saturday night.
Though Nebraska was able to make a run towards the end of regulation, Michigan had control for the majority of this one. The Wolverines went into Pinnacle Bank Arena and got a good road win over a very underrated Nebraska team on Saturday afternoon. Leading the way for Michigan was Duncan Robinson with 21 points; Derrick Walton Jr. had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Mark Donnal also got into double figures with 14 of his own. Nebraska was unable to get the win, despite having four players in double digit. The Wolverines were great at the line, shooting 20-23 (87.0%) on the night.