The Big Ten only had two games tonight but they both came down to the wire as both of tonight’s road teams managed to avoid upsets in two thrillers.
Let’s see what happened on Tuesday night.
Game of the Night
#5 Michigan Wolverines 62, Northwestern Wildcats 60
Michigan opened with a quick 15 points in the first 4:09 and the offense looked like it was revving up for a rout of Northwestern. Eventually the shots stopped falling, partially because of Northwestern’s defense, and the Wildcats managed to keep it close heading into the break.
A kick 9-0 run to the start the second half helped Michigan open up a 15 point lead until Northwestern stole all of the momentum in the building on a 15-2 run to narrow the deficit to two. A pair of Vic Law three pointers and an A.J. Turner jumper gave the Wildcats a 54-51 lead with 5:47, their first in the game. The game, tied heading down the stretch, eventually was settled by a Jordan Poole dunk that led to this reaction from Wildcats head coach Chris Collins.
The Wildcats had several opportunities to tie or take the lead, but had a turnover and three missed field goals, including a Ryan Taylor three at the buzzer that was just a bit off.
Ignas Brazdeikis led the Wolverines with 23 points while Jon Teske cleaned up inside with 8 points and 10 rebounds. The Wolverines were held to 25% from three and only shot 43.6% from the field, but did enough to edge Northwestern in Evanston. Northwestern got plenty from Vic Law and Dererk Pardon, who combined to score 39 points on 16-27 shooting. The rest of the team, however, shot 7 for 24 from the field for 21 points. Mix that with 35.3% from three on 17 attempts and only 61.5% from the line and it wasn’t enough to overcome the fifth ranked Wolverines.
It's EARLY early, but we have a feeling this will go down as one of the best @B1GMBBall games of the year.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 5, 2018
No. 5 @umichbball survived a great effort from Northwestern to remain undefeated, and you can get full highlights here: pic.twitter.com/Ly3DFNt90W
The Nittany Lions missed a prime opportunity for a huge win on Tuesday against the Hoosiers. Penn State started off strong against a sloppy Indiana team, opening up a 9-0 lead over the first five minutes. While Indiana didn’t make their first field goal until six plus minutes into the half, Penn State couldn’t take advantage and back to back Devonte Green three pointers tied the game at 10 after nine minutes.
Indiana took a four point lead into the break and eventually opened up a 13 point lead in the second half. An Evan Fitzner jumper gave the Hoosiers a 63-52 lead with 3:58 to go and it looked like Indiana would cruise to the win until the Nittany Lions made a late surge in the closing minutes led by freshman Rasir Bolton, who scored nine of Penn State’s last 10 points to close the game. Penn State had an opportunity late but Indiana forced a turnover to hold on at the buzzer.
Penn State squandered a perfect opportunity for a huge win as the offense struggled all night. The Nittany Lions shot 37.1% from the field and could only hit 5 of their 21 three pointers. Even more problematic was their free throw shooting, making 11 of 26 free throws in a two point loss. They also struggled inside, making nine of 28 layups on the night. Simply put, the shots weren’t falling and Penn State blew a perfect opportunity for an upset tonight.
The Hoosiers got a solid performance from Romeo Langford with 17 points and were able to overcome Penn State’s defense to do just enough to hold on for the difficult road victory.