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1⁄2 Big Ten Recap: Home and road teams split the evening

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In the return of conference play, home teams went 2-2.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

It’s seemed like far too long in between conference games since the December teases of Big Ten competition. Last night, it returned with a handful of interesting match-ups. Road wins are always valuable in and out of conference play, and a few teams managed to pick one of those up last night.

Let’s take a look at how the evening unfolded:

Game of the Night:

-Maryland Terrapins 75, Penn State Nittany Lions 69

This game was a tale of two halves and was an important win for the Terrapins to pick up after the news that Justin Jackson would join Ivan Bender in being out for the season. Penn State took a four point lead into the locker room at halftime at 34-30, but Maryland fought back to outscore Penn State 45-35 in the second half and take the six point home win.

With the news of Jackson and Bender missing the remainder of the season, Maryland went big with their lineup, inserting Michal Cekovsky and Bruno Fernando into the starting lineup. The two combined for 27 points and 17 rebounds and played a big part in the win.

Anthony Cowan scored 18 for Maryland and Mike Watkins played a stellar game for Penn State, finishing with 17 points and pulled down a new career high on the glass with 17 rebounds.

Penn State’s leading scorer Tony Carr finished with 16 points and eight assists, but struggled shooting and finished 6-23 from the field.

This game was truly won at the free throw line, with a 34-4 advantage in attempts in Maryland’s favor. Maryland didn’t necessarily shoot lights out from the charity stripe, finishing 23-34, while Penn State made only 2-4.

Maryland will travel to East Lansing and face Michigan State on Thursday, while Penn State will host Northwestern on Friday.

The Rest:

-Wisconsin Badgers 71, Indiana Hoosiers 61

Madison continued its tradition of being a house of horrors for the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday night, and they still haven’t won a game in Madison since 1998.

Quite simply, Indiana had no answer for Ethan Happ of the Badgers. Happ finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists in sparking a second half rally along with the Wisconsin freshman that eventually put the Hoosiers away.

Brad Davison and Khalil Iverson both joined Ethan Happ in double figures with 14 and 10, respectively. Collin Hartman led the Hoosiers in scoring with 18 points, but scored 13 of the 18 in the first half when the Hoosiers had a three point lead going into the locker room.

Indiana continued to struggle shooting the three point shot, finishing 4-15 while Wisconsin shot slightly better at 7-15. Wisconsin had a big advantage at the free throw line, finishing 18-24 to the Hoosiers 9-10.

Wisconsin will travel to Piscataway to take on Rutgers on Friday while Indiana will travel to Minnesota on Saturday.

-Michigan Wolverines 75, Iowa Hawkeyes 68

The Michigan Wolverines managed to get the win in Iowa City, a place they hadn’t won since 2011, and they did it with a balanced scoring performance with four players in double figures.

Zavier Simpson and Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman finished with 15 points a piece, joined by Charles Matthews and Isaiah Livers with 14 and 13 respectively. Big man Moritz Wagner played 16 minutes, finishing with 4 points and 4 rebounds and fellow starter Duncan Robinson finished with five points. However, Michigan got 37 points from its bench, compared to 17 bench points for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa did, however, get a great performance from their sophomore star Tyler Cook, who finished with 28 points and eight rebounds to lead the Hawkeyes.

Michigan will host Illinois on Saturday while Iowa will look for their first conference win at home against Ohio State on Thursday.

-Nebraska Cornhuskers 70, Northwestern Wildcats 55

Tim Miles has continued his teams impressive start, improving to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play in a year where a lot of questions were circling around the program and his future.

Without Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern looked out of sorts on the offensive end, often ending up with a bad shot or no shot at all. Scottie Lindsey and Vic Law combined for 20 points on 6-25 shooting without their point guard getting the offense running. Derek Pardon did have a nice evening for the Wildcats, finishing with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Glynn Watson Jr. led the Cornhuskers to the road victory with 19 points, six assists and six rebounds. Watson Jr., James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland combined for 50 points, with Palmer Jr. and Copeland scoring 18 and 13 respectively.

Nebraska dominated the second half, outscoring the out of sorts Wildcats 45-25 to pull away in the second half and get a road win that bolsters their season and puts a dash on the Wildcats NCAA hopes.

Nebraska travels to West Lafayette to face Purdue Saturday, while Northwestern will take to the road to face Penn State on Friday night.