In what seemed like a slow night in the Big Ten, the action picked up as Minnesota made a late charge at Michigan in an attempt to obtain their first conference win. In the early game, Wisconsin tried to pick up a 6th straight conference win against Nebraska.
Let's take a look at the action.
Game of the Night: Michigan Wolverines 82, Minnesota Golden Gophers 74
If you're a Minnesota fan that turned this game off early, don't worry, you didn't miss your team's first win. You did, however, miss a nice comeback from the Golden Gophers in the final 7 minutes only to eventually fall 82-74.
The first half of this game belonged to Derrick Walton Jr. The junior guard had 19 points on 7-9 shooting in the first 20 minutes. Michigan went on a 12-2 run in the middle of the first half capped by a Aubrey Dawkins three that gave them a 20-12 lead.
Walton Jr. finished the half with the Wolverine's final 8 points including a three at the buzzer to give Michigan a comfortable halftime lead 42-28. Duncan Robinson was also key for the Wolverine's first half dominance with 5 points and 6 rebounds.
Coming out in the second half hot, it looked like Minnesota would surely lose their 12th straight conference game as the Wolverines opened up a 19 point lead in the first few minutes of the second stanza. With a 70-53 lead with just 7 minutes remaining, it looked like this one was in the books. Richard Pitino's squad had other ideas, however, as they scored the next 19 of the game's next 23 points and trimmed the lead to 74-72 with under 2 minutes remaining.
With the pressure on Michigan to hold on to the lead, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman converted a huge 3 point play to put the Wolverine's back in control. Walton Jr would ice the game with 3 late free throws and Michigan would avoid being the victim of Minnesota's first Big Ten win.
Walton Jr finished with a career high 26 points and added 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Mason led the way for Minnesota with 19 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Michigan will play host to Purdue Saturday while Minnesota will have their hands full on the road against Iowa.
Winning at Wisconsin is something only Maryland and Purdue have accomplished in Big Ten play this year, and a shorthanded Nebraska team wasn't going to be the third. Playing without their leading scorer Shavon Shields, the Cornhuskers fell 72-61 in Madison Wednesday night.
Nebraska streaked out to an early 16-11 lead with 8:30 left to play in the first half as they played stingy defense and had 6 different players score in the early going. The Badgers, however, responded with a 13-2 run that gave them the lead for good. Triples in three straight possessions were the highlight of the run.
Wisconsin finished the first half with a 30-26 lead as Vitto Brown led the way for the Badgers with 12 of his career high 18 in the first 20 minutes. Greg Gard's team was excellent from beyond in the first half, converting on 4 of 6 attempts.
In the second half, Wisconsin would slowly build their lead, as it ballooned as high as 16 with just three minutes remaining. The Badgers continued to be on fire from deep as they hit their first 4 attempts to start the second half and finished the game 11-18 from deep.
Besides Brown's career high 18, Nigel Hayes a quality performance shooting 7-14 for 20 points. On the other side, freshman guard Glynn Watson Jr. led the Cornhuskers with 16 points. Michael Jacobson turned in a solid performance as well with 6 points and 9 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive end.
Nebraska will host Penn State Saturday while Wisconsin will travel to Maryland to face the 2nd ranked Terps.