Tuesday night was an evening that featured a pair of cupcake games, more or less, for the Maryland Terrapins and Rutgers Scarlet Knights and then a game that featured a really nice opportunity for a road win against a quality opponent for the Michigan Wolverines.
Regardless, the conference going 3-0 on any night is a good thing at this point as the teams have struggled in the non-conference to pile up wins and are looking for any chance to improve the stock of the conference heading back into Big Ten play shortly.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how the action unfolded on Tuesday night.
Game of the Night
- Michigan Wolverines 59, Texas Longhorns 52
The Michigan Wolverines went into a road environment on Tuesday night in Austin, Texas that was far away from friendly and managed to pull off a grinding win away from home for their first road win of the season. While the Longhorns are far away from being a national powerhouse, the team was 6-2 heading into that game with their only losses coming against Gonzaga and Duke and even after last night they sit at #31 on KenPom.
Michigan started the night cold, not scoring a point for the first four minutes of the game. Fortunately, Texas was equally ineffective on the offensive end and after the first four minutes, the score was only 2-0.
After what looked like it might be one of the most difficult to watch games of the season, Michigan turned it on after a Duncan Robinson three and went on to shoot much better the remainder of the half en route to posting 32 points in the final 15:39.
Texas entered the game without their leading scorer, Andrew Jones, and it showed on the offensive end as they shot a season low 36.5%. Of course, you have to give some credit to the Michigan defense for locking in and not allowing other players on Texas to fill in the gap left by Jones’ absence.
Texas went on several mini runs in the second half where the momentum shifted in their favor and you thought maybe things might turn around, but Michigan held them at bay. Even after senior big man Moritz Wagner went down with what they’ve said is a slight ankle sprain, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman continued having a great game and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, banking in a deep three that halted a Texas run in the second half.
Texas was led by Dylan Osetkowski, who scored 17 points and super freshman Mo Bamba scored 10 points, had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Longhorns.
Michigan will travel to Detroit to face Detroit Mercy University on Saturday, while Texas will host Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
-Catholic Cardinals 59, Maryland Terrapins 76
Maryland got off to a slow start in this game, but eventually they began to show their muscle and pulled away in this one. It was only a 37-31 advantage at halftime, but a 39-28 second half stretched it out to a 17 point victory for the Terrapins.
Maryland shot 51% from the field and also had 21 trips to the free throw line, 12 more than the Catholic Cardinals.
Anthony Cowan had a nice night for the Terrapins as the sophomore guard posted a line of 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals, though he did struggle from the floor in shooting 5-15. Fellow sophomore Kevin Huerter scored 14 points on 5-8 shooting.
The Catholic Cardinals were led by senior Jay Howard, who scored 20 points on 9-18 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
The Catholic Cardinals will face a non-conference opponent Gallaudet next, while Maryland has an extended break and does not play again until they lost Fairleigh Dickinson on December 21st.
-Fordham Rams 63, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 75
Rutgers picked up another non-conference win against a sub-par opponent on Tuesday night, but wins are wins for Steve Pikiell, who is still trying to rebuild the program he inherited.
Deshawn Freeman had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes, while the freshman duo of Geo Baker and Issa Thaim continued to impress, combining for 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Rutgers continues to post wins against teams like Fordham, but have failed to take down any of the more competent teams that they’ve faced, and their KenPom ranking sits at 102, despite being 9-3 on the season.
Corey Sanders finished with twelve points, becoming the 42nd player in Rutgers Scarlet Knights history to post over 1,000 career points.
Fordham was led by Ivan Raut, who finished with 19 points and seven rebounds on the night.
Rutgers will have another chance to prove they can beat high level competition on Saturday, as they will host #15 Seton Hall with a huge chance to improve their image around the country with a win.
Fordham will host Florida A&M on December 21st.