It took all 40 minutes of action to earn a Big Ten win on Wednesday night, and Indiana and Ohio State each made the last play in back-and-forth games that could have gone either way.
Here’s a recap of the action.
Big Ten Game of the Night:
-Indiana 78, Penn State 75
Depending on how the rest of the season goes, Wednesday night’s game can either be seen as a crucial point in Indiana’s turnaround or an example of how the Hoosiers failed to live up to expectations.
Option A: James Blackmon Jr. hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to bring the Hoosiers to .500 in the Big Ten, give them their first conference road win of the season, and get Indiana going in the right direction.
Option B: OG Anunoby left with an injury, the Hoosiers gave up a seven-point lead in the final minute and Blackmon’s game-winner only delayed Indiana’s continued struggles.
Without knowing the severity of Anunoby’s injury, we’ll have to look at the game on its own.
And it was a good one.
The Hoosiers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) were in control for much of the night, taking a 44-37 lead into halftime and holding a 75-67 advantage after Josh Newkirk’s layup with 1:18 to play.
Penn State (11-8, 3-3) turned up the pressure from there, forcing a pair of turnovers and getting a layup from Tony Carr to cut the deficit to 75-70.
Indiana’s Curtis Jones missed back-to-back free throws and Shep Garner hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to bring the Nittany Lions within 75-73.
Another Indiana turnover, this time on a steal from Lamar Stevens, resulted in Stevens hitting two free throws with four seconds left to tie the game at 75-75.
But Blackmon wasn’t satisfied with overtime. The junior guard took the inbounds pass, beat his defender, received a screen and hit a 3-pointer from the right wing over the 6-foot-10 Julian Moore to give the Hoosiers the win.
Blackmon finished with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including going 5-for-11 from behind the arc, while adding five rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Robert Johnson and Thomas Bryant also had 17 points for the Hoosiers. Johnson added seven rebounds and three assists, while Bryant finished with nine rebounds.
Carr scored a game-high 24 points for Penn State, shooting 6-of-13 from the floor and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. Garner chipped in 15 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Nittany Lions.
Indiana had trouble taking care of the ball all night, committing 17 turnovers. But the Hoosiers made up for it by shooting 49.2 percent (30-for-61) from the field, including 58.3 percent (21-for-36) from inside the arc.
Penn State shot just 38.3 percent (23-for-60) from the floor and 67.7 percent (21-for-31) from the free-throw line. At 3-3 in conference play, the Nittany Lions and Hoosiers are in a five-way tie for sixth in the Big Ten.
As far as the Anunoby injury, it doesn’t sound good. The sophomore forward came down funny while going for a rebound, leaving the court with what appeared to be a knee injury.
Indiana coach Tom Crean appeared to be under the impression that
-Ohio State 67, Nebraska 66
An under-the-basket inbounds play led to a Marc Loving game-winning layup that capped off Ohio State’s come-from-behind road win over Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers (9-9, 3-3) looked like they might run away with it midway through the first half, going on a 31-14 run to open up a 35-23 lead with 4:13 to play.
But the Buckeyes (12-7, 2-4) closed to within 40-32 at halftime, then continued to chip away in the second.
Ohio State’s first lead of the second half came when Loving assisted Trevor Thompson for a dunk to give the Buckeyes a 53-52 lead with 8:43 remaining.
The teams went back and forth until Tai Webster hit a layup to give Nebraska a 66-65 advantage with 34 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, Loving missed a 3-pointer from the corner, but JaQuan Lyle grabbed the offensive rebound and the Buckeyes called timeout with 1.9 seconds remaining.
C.J. Jackson took the ball out of bounds and, after Nebraska’s Glynn Watson Jr. fell over, found Loving wide open under the basket for the game-winning basket with 0.6 seconds to go.
Loving had a double-double on the night, leading the Buckeyes with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
Lyle and Jae’Sean Tate each added 13 points for Ohio State, while Thompson finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Webster had a game-high 18 points for Nebraska, shooting 7-of-15 from the floor. Junior guard Evan Taylor and sophomore forward Michael Jacobson each finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Cornhuskers.
Both teams struggled offensively. Ohio State shot 41.5 percent (27-for-65) from the field, 33.3 percent (6-for-18) from the 3-point line and 43.8 percent (7-for-16) from the free-throw line. Nebraska put up similar numbers, shooting 41.7 percent (25-for-60) overall, 23.8 percent (5-for-21) on 3-pointers and 55.0 percent (11-for-20) on free throws.
The Buckeyes had an advantage on the boards, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and outrebounding the Cornhuskers 45-37.
The teams have gone in different directions over the last week. Ohio State has won back-to-back games after starting 0-4 in conference play. The Cornhuskers, the early surprise of the Big Ten, have lost three straight to fall to .500 in the conference.