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12/20 Recap: Five Teams Survive the Test

Finals are over and now Big Ten Teams are being tested in the final week of non-conference play.

NCAA Basketball: North Dakota at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

As the end of non-conference play nears, many teams are squeezing in their final games before conference play begins. Tonight featured a slate of five mid-major teams and five Big Ten teams. The Big Ten impressed, and came away with five wins. While some of these games were landslides, these games were important to win.

Big Ten Game of the Day

Iowa 84, North Dakota 73

Peter Jok and Jordan Bohannon scored 18 points each as the Hawkeyes knocked off North Dakota. Iowa continues to take small steps to improve after a rocky start to the beginning of the season. Freshman Cordell Pemsl came off the bench to score 9 points on 4-7 shooting and collect 11 rebounds. His 11 rebounds were imperative to Iowa’s success tonight and filled a void the Hawkeyes needed. Brady Ellingston also came off the bench and added a strong 10 points for the Hawkeyes to help lead them to victory.

The Rest:

Maryland 88, Charlotte 72

Maryland added another non-conference win to their total tonight. While this non-conference slate has been difficult in figuring out the mystery that is Maryland basketball this season, the Terps got the job done tonight. The Terrapins got off to a slow start but that didn’t get to them. Maryland is known for finishing off games strong and that is exactly what happened. The 13 turnovers in the first half were sloppy, but that didn’t stop Maryland from winning. Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowen lead the Terps in scoring from the backcourt with 21 and 16 points respectively.

Ohio State 70, Youngstown State 40

Ohio State absolutely dominated Youngstown State from start to finish. Cam Williams and Jae’Sean Tate had 15 points each as the Buckeyes added another tally in the win column. As a team, Ohio State shot 50% from the floor but they had a rough night at the free throw line, shooting under 60%. Ohio State’s defense came out firing on all cylinders and held Youngstown State to just 14 points in the first half. That is the lowest number of points the Buckeyes have let a team score in a half this season. Trevor Thompson had a double-double on the night. He scored 11 points and collected 15 rebounds while tallying 3 blocks. This was Thompson’s fourth double-double of the season. He continues to be an important presence inside for Ohio State.

Nebraska 81, Southern 76

Nebraska is off to a tough start this season. Losing Andrew White is really beginning to hurt the Cornhuskers. After losing to Gardner-Webb over the weekend, Nebraska won a hard fought battle against Southern. Jeriah Horne, a freshman, lead the team with 18 points. His production was crucial in the win. Tai Webster had a tough first half of the game. He was unable to get a shot to go. In the second half, he came out and scored 10 points to help lead Nebraska to victory. Without Andrew White, Webster is being asked to do a lot more especially on the offensive side. He’s shooting the ball a lot more and that’s dropped his percentages down this season.

Northwestern 87, IUPUI 65

Coming off of a resume-building win, Northwestern faced a trap game tonight in Evanston against IUPUI. The ‘Cats played strong and stay undefeated at home this season following an impressive team effort. Gavin Skelly scored a career-high 19 points and had a double-double with 11 rebounds. Sanjay Lumpkin also had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Northwestern really put together a team effort tonight as Skelly, Lumpkin, Taphorn, McIntosh, Brown and Lindsey all scored in double figures. Charlie Hall even came in to play the final minute and collected a rebound to end the game.

***

Five games and five wins. While some were almost too close for comfort, each of these teams gets to add another tally in the win column tonight. These games are important wins and confidence boosters because conference play is right around the corner.