On the first Saturday of the new year, the Big Ten slated three games. Indiana looked for their first conference win, Penn State and Michigan State battled at The Palestra, and the Terrapins payed a visit to Michigan.
Here’s how the day went:
Big Ten Game of the Day:
-Indiana Hoosiers 96, Illinois Fighting Illini 80
Indiana began the game on a 15-0 run in the first six minutes before Jalen Coleman-Lands was able to make it to the free throw line for Illinois. Indiana showed improvement, despite Josh Newkirk only scoring five points on the day. OG Anunoby was effective off the bench again, scoring 12 points, collecting four rebounds, and dishing three assists in 31 minutes of play.
However, for Indiana, today was really the Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon Jr. show. Bryant had 20 points on 8-8 shooting while missing just two of his eight free throws. Blackmon Jr. had 25 points on 5-9 from three, 7-12 from the paint and 6-7 at the charity stripe.
On the Illinois side, despite the loss, the Fighting Illini had stars of the game as well. Both Malcolm Hill and Jalen Coleman-Lands had 21 points and Maverick Morgan came off the bench to score 18.
Each team now sits at 1-2 in conference play.
-Penn State Nittany Lions 72, Michigan State Spartans 63
In front of a sold-out crowd at The Palestra, Michigan State entered as a five-point favorite. However, Pat Chambers and his team showed they should still be in the middle-of-the-pack. Penn State collected 38 rebounds compared to Michigan State’s 28 and they were able to capitalize on Michigan State’s 17 turnovers to win the game. Penn State took the lead two minutes in to the game and would hold it throughout.
Michigan State struggled to shoot the ball well, as Nick Ward and Lourawls Nairn Jr were the only two Spartans in double figures with 16 and 13 points respectively. Outside of Ward, the Spartan starters combined for just 22 points. Foul trouble hurt the team again as well. Alvin Ellis III fouled out in 14 minutes of play, Miles Bridges, Josh Langford and Cassius Winston each had four.
Penn State only played eight players, but they were effective. Lamar Stevens had 18, Tony Carr had 14, and Mike Watkins and Payton Banks had 11 each.
Michigan State now drops to 3-1 in conference, while Penn State is now 2-2.
-Maryland Terrapins 77, Michigan Wolverines 70
For two teams on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament, this game was important. Maryland showed they were the tougher team down the stretch, lead by their forwards Justin Jackson and Damonte Dodd, who had 15 points each.
Michigan was within a point with 14:33 to go in the game, but they struggled on defense and couldn’t make stops down the stretch. Lead by Moritz Wagner, Michigan had four starters in double-figures. Wagner had 17, Zak Irvin had 15, D.J Wilson had 13, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 12.
Michigan entered the game as an 8-point favorite over the Terrapins, but they were unable to grab a home win that may cost them in the future.