Saturdays slate at Madison Square Garden highlighted an exciting day of Big Ten Basketball. Here’s how it all went down:
Big Ten Game of the Day:
-Wisconsin Badgers 61, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 54 (OT)
Two Words. Ethan Happ. On a day when Wisconsin really struggled on the floor, Ethan Happ went off for 32 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Bronson Koenig was the only other Badger to score in double figures. He had 10 points. Wisconsin’s bench only added 5 points on the day and the Badgers really struggled in the second half, including a ten minute scoring drought. Ethan Happ tied the game to send it in to overtime and put the team on his back.
On the Rutgers side, Corey Sanders and Nigel Johnson scored 28 points in the loss.
-Maryland Terrapins 85, Minnesota Golden Gophers 78
Is it time to start worrying about Minnesota? After losing 4 straight, the Terrapins played a visit to the barn. Minnesota had a 33- 26 lead at the half, but the Gophers couldn’t hold on. Here’s what we learned from the game.
- Penn State Nittany Lions 71, Illinois Fighting Illini, 67
Illinois is slowly watching their March Madness chances slip away. While the final score looks close, Penn State lead 45- 25 at the half. Maverick Morgan, Jalen Coleman-Lands, and Malcolm Hill all scored in double figures, but outside of their 42 points, not much went right for the Fighting Illini.
On the Penn State side, this was a game Pat Chambers knew he needed to win, and his team performed. Tony Carr scored 13 and Shep Garner lead the Nittany Lions with 18. Payton Banks added 17 as a great boost off the bench and Mike Watkins was effective as well, adding 10.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 85, Ohio State 72
The Hawkeyes added a much-needed win without Peter Jok. Jok was sidelined with a back injury, but the Hawkeyes had other weapons and that showed. Cook and Bohanan combined for 25 and the Hawkeyes had great production from their bench. Ellingson scored 17 and Kriener had 14. Iowa showed without Peter Jok they can still compete. This was a big win for Iowa and keeps their outside tournament changes alive.
For Ohio State, this pretty much ended their hopes of punching a ticket to the Big Dance. Tate, Williams, and Lyle all scored in double figures, but for Ohio State to be successful, they need all of their starters to contribute double figures and produce more off of the bench.