None of the Big Ten contenders played on Wednesday night, but the conference still gave us an entertaining night with a pair of games that went down to the wire. Minnesota needed double overtime to top Iowa, while Ohio State held on for a tight win over Rutgers.
Let’s recap the night’s action.
Big Ten Game of the Night:
-Minnesota 101, Iowa 89 (2OT)
The Gophers are making a habit of playing overtime games. Minnesota’s fourth overtime game of the Big Ten season needed two extra periods to determine a winner. In the end, Minnesota outscored Iowa 17-5 in the second overtime to come away with a 101-89 home win. Iowa’s three-game winning streak came to an end, while the Gophers won their second straight game since undergoing a five-game losing streak at the end of January.
The overtime was only necessary after Peter Jok scored 24 second-half points to help Iowa come back from a 40-29 halftime deficit. The Hawkeyes, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, took their first lead of the half when Jok had a steal and layup to give Iowa a 57-56 lead with 9:09 remaining.
The game stayed within a single possession for the final seven minutes of regulation. Iowa took a 77-75 lead when Cordell Pemsl grabbed an offensive rebound and fed a cutting Jok, who sent a touch-pass to Nicholas Baer for a dunk with 46 seconds remaining. However, Minnesota’s Nate Mason got to the basket with 9 seconds left and scored to send the game to overtime tied at 77-77.
The Gophers (17-7, 5-6 Big Ten) scored the first five points of overtime, but the Hawkeyes (14-11, 6-6) came back once again and tied the game at 84-84 after a Jordan Bohannon jumper with 1:34 remaining. Neither team could score in the final minute and the game went to double overtime knotted at 84-84.
Minnesota was too much in the second overtime period, opening up a 94-87 lead after an Akeem Springs steal led to a Mason layup with 1:52 remaining. Iowa didn’t threaten the rest of the way, as Minnesota held on to improve to 2-2 in overtime games this season.
Sophomore forward Jordan Murphy had a big night for Minnesota, finishing with 25 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks while shooting 10-of-13 from the field. Mason also scored 25 points for the Gophers, shooting 9-of-21 from the floor while adding seven assists, five rebounds and two blocks. Springs finished with 17 points, four steals and three assists, while Amir Coffey chipped in 13 points, six assists and three steals.
Jok, who briefly exited the game with a limp in the first overtime, scored a game-high 28 points on 8-of-20 shooting. The senior added nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. Freshman guard Isaiah Moss added 19 points for the Hawkeyes, while Bohannon chipped in 12 points, eight assists and two steals.
The teams put up similar offensive numbers. Minnesota shot 43.9 percent (36-for-82) from the 3-point line (8-for-24) and 67.7 percent (21-for-31) from the free-throw line. Iowa shot 40.0 percent (30-for-75) percent from the floor, 34.6 percent (9-for-26) from behind the arc and 71.4 percent (20-for-28) at the line.
Minnesota reached the 100-point mark for the first time this season, topping their previous season high that came in a 91-82 overtime win at Purdue. The Gophers will visit Rutgers on Saturday, while the Hawkeyes will make a trip to Michigan State on Saturday.
-Ohio State 70, Rutgers 64
Kam Williams kept the night’s opening game from reaching overtime. The junior guard broke a 62-62 tie with a four-point play that gave the host Buckeyes a 66-62 lead with 1:05 remaining. The bucket was Ohio State’s final field goal of the night, as the Buckeyes iced the game at the free-throw line.
Williams’ heroics were needed after Rutgers clawed back from a 12-point second-half deficit. Ohio State (15-10, 5-7) led by as much as 41-29 before Rutgers (13-12, 2-10) started climbing back with 16 minutes remaining. The Scarlet Knights tied the game on multiple occasions, but never took the lead as the Buckeyes always had an answer.
Williams led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, shooting 8-of-15 from the field, including 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. Trevor Thompson controlled the paint for Ohio State, recording his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Jae’Sean Tate added 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block for the Buckeyes.
Rutgers did a lot right on the offensive end, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and committing just 11 turnovers. However, the Scarlet Knights shot just 39.7 percent (25-for-63) from the field, 23.5 percent (4-for-17) from behind the arc and 55.6 percent (10-for-18) from the free-throw line.
Corey Sanders paced the Scarlet Knights with 17 points and four assists despite shooting just 5-of-13 from the floor. Junior forward Deshawn Freeman had his 10th double-double of the season with points and 10 rebounds for Rutgers. Mike Williams added 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Issa Thiam had 10 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Ohio State is a perfect 4-0 against Rutgers since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten prior to the 2014-15 season. Wednesday was the lone regular-season matchup of the season between the programs. The Buckeyes will look for their third straight win when they visit No. 21 Maryland on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights will return home to host Minnesota on Saturday.