There were three games on the slate for the Big Ten on Tuesday, with one of them featuring two teams who are still fighting for their tournament hopes between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Maryland Terrapins.
Let’s take a look at how the action unfolded on a crucial night for a few Big Ten teams.
Game of the Night
- Maryland Terrapins 66, Nebraska Cornhuskers 70
Nebraska managed to pull out the win and extend it’s win streak to six games as they continue their push for the NCAA Tournament. Down two at halftime, the best hope for the Cornhuskers had only two points. James Palmer Jr. went to the locker room at halftime just 1-6 from the floor.
The second half, however, was a totally different story for Tim Miles’ team. Palmer Jr. took the game over, scoring 24 of his 26 points in the second half and shooting 9-13 from the field in the second twenty minutes. Him and Isaiah Roby combined to score 35 of the 40 second half points for the Huskers.
Maryland had a chance to take a lead with an Anthony Cowan three point attempt with 53 seconds remaining, but it was blocked by Glynn Watson Jr. and Nebraska sealed the game at the free throw line.
Nebraska managed to win with only two players in double figures scoring with Palmer Jr. and Roby. Watson Jr., who has struggled offensively much of the year, went only 2-12 from the floor.
On a night where Anthony Cowan struggled for Maryland, they were led by freshman big man Bruno Fernando, who finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Kevin Huerter and Darryl Morsell joined him in double figures, with 12 and 11 points respectively. Cowan finished with seven points on 3-13 shooting.
For Nebraska, this seemed to be a must win game at home. It moves them to 20-8 overall and 11-4 in the conference, and they visit Illinois on Sunday. Maryland falls to 17-11 overall and 6-9 in the conference, and they host Rutgers on Saturday.
- #3 Michigan State 87, Minnesota Golden Gophers 57
Even on a night where Miles Bridges scored 5 points on 1-7 shooting, Michigan State absolutely cruised to a 30 point victory on the road. Led by freshman sensation Jaren Jackson Jr., the Spartans asserted their dominance early, taking an 18 point lead into the locker room at halftime.
Jackson Jr. scored a career high 27 points to go with his six rebounds and three blocks on 10-14 shooting, including 5-8 from beyond the arc. Michigan State had the ball moving well, finishing with an impressive 27 assists on 32 made field goals. They shot lights out as well, finishing 14-22 from beyond the three point line.
For Minnesota, there isn’t much good news to be found here. Isaiah Washington continued to play well, finishing with a team high 18 points on 6-12 shooting. The two best players for the Golden Gophers, Jordan Murphy and Nate Mason, shot a combined 10-29 from the floor and that spelled certain death for the team.
Michigan State rides a nine game winning streak into a road game against Northwestern on Saturday afternoon, now sitting at 25-3 overall and 13-2 in the conference. Minnesota is now desperate for any win at all, having lost eight in a row. They travel to Madison to face the Badgers on Monday sitting at 14-14 overall and 3-12 in the conference.
- Northwestern Wildcats 58, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 67 (OT)
With Deshawn Freeman being benched as a coaches’ decision, Rutgers had to lean on Corey Sanders for the leadership in this one.
Sanders certainly delivered, hitting big shots to keep the Scarlet Knights in the game and playing defense that earned high praise from coach Steve Pikiell after the game. Sanders finished the game with 30 points, including a game-tying three with 5.9 seconds left to send it into overtime.
Sanders’ three went in as part of a massive 32-13 run to end the game for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers managed to pull out a win in a game that to this point, many anticipated they would not pull out in the end.
For Northwestern, their offense never looked the same after Bryant McIntosh suffered an injury in the first half. McIntosh, who finished with 2 points on 1-5 shooting in his 14 minutes, is the catalyst for the Wildcats offense that could not get anything going without him on the floor.
For Rutgers, the win moves them to 13-15 overall and 3-12 in the conference and they travel to Maryland Saturday evening to face the Terrapins. Northwestern moves to 15-12 overall and 6-8 in Big Ten play, as their mysterious season continues. They hope to have McIntosh back at full strength, and they’ll need him, as they host Michigan State on Saturday.