Neither of Thursday night’s Big Ten games were particularly exciting. The Northwestern Wildcats defended home court to solidify their position as an NCAA tournament team, while the Indiana Hoosiers were run off the court in Ann Arbor.
Big Ten Game of the Night
-Northwestern 73, Nebraska 61
The Nebraska Cornhuskers suffered a tough loss on Thursday night, falling to the Northwestern Wildcats 73-61 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston.
It’s the Huskers’ fifth straight loss, dropping them to 9-11 on the season, while the Wildcats continue their historic season, improving them to 17-4.
For the Wildcats, it’s the best eight-game start to conference play since the 1943-44 season, as the Wildcats look every bit the part of an NCAA tournament team.
And on this night, it was another dominant performance from sophomore center Dererk Pardon that put the game out for a reeling Huskers team.
Pardon finished with an otherworldly 19 points and 22 rebounds for the Wildcats, his second career double double against the Huskers.
Tim Miles’ team is falling, but the 12 point loss to Northwestern is their first double digit defeat since losing 89-72 to Kansas on December 10.
Trailing 32-29 at the end of the first half, the Huskers stuck around for most of the contest until Vic Law hit two free throws, the Wildcats scored off an alley-oop following a Huskers miss, and a technical on Miles led to two more free throws.
In the blink of an eye the Wildcats were up by ten and never looked back.
The Huskers were led in scoring by Tai Webster, who scored 23 points and six rebounds, with Glynn Watson Jr., adding 14 points.
Law led the Wildcats in scoring with 20 points, with Isiah Brown adding 10 points and Bryant McIntosh scoring nine points and nine rebounds.
-Michigan 90, Indiana 60
The Indiana Hoosiers were embarrassed on Thursday night in Ann Arbor.
The 90-60 drubbing at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines was the worst loss of Tom Crean’s tenure in Bloomington.
Now, to be fair, it wasn’t just that the Hoosiers failed to show up to a game that many experts expected to be a tightly contested Big Ten affair.
The Wolverines came to play. And in a nearly perfect performance, John Beilein’s squad showed how lethal it can be when they’re playing to their potential.
Michigan basketball under Beilein has long relied on the three point shot. But on Thursday night, the strategy paid off as the Wolverines had a shooting night to remember, hitting 11-of-20 from beyond the arc.
Derrick Walton led the maize and blue with 21 points, while Moe Wagner added 14 and Duncan Robinson scored 13 points of his own.
At 14-7 overall and 4-4 in conference play, the Wolverines still have a ways to go to establish themselves as true contenders in the Big Ten. But if the Wolverines can build on this performance they will be one of the toughest outs in the conference.
Nonetheless, despite Michigan’s resurgence, the storyline of the night was the total incompetence of a Hoosiers squad that is in serious trouble.
The Hoosiers now have an identical record to Michigan both overall and in conference play. But the mood around Bloomington is gloomy.
Robert Johnson led the Hoosiers with 14 points, while Thomas Bryant added 13 points.
Indiana trailed 50-35 at the half and could never recover from Michigan’s scorching scoring performance.