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1/10 Big Ten Recap: Michigan Victorious Against Illinois

Both favorites won tonight in conference play.

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

There were two games tonight, with #2 ranked Michigan heading to Illinois and recently ranked Nebraska hosting Penn State. Let’s see how things played out tonight in the conference.

Game of the Night

Nebraska Cornhuskers 70, Penn State Nittany Lions 64

It’s been a rough season for the Nittany Lions and it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better in the immediate future. While playing at Nebraska is never easy, Penn State trailed the Cornhuskers 61-62 with 2:53 and were in prime position for a potential upset. However, Penn State couldn’t make another field goal until 11 seconds were remaining and Nebraska converted at the line to ice the game.

Isaiah Roby had a big night for Nebraska, recording 22 points on 8 of 9 shooting and adding 11 rebounds for the double double. Nebraska shot 49.1% from the line and made 39.1% from three, doing just enough to edge Penn State. The Nittany Lions held a decisive 46-32 rebound advantage, including 21 offensive rebounds. Unfortunately for Penn State they shot 36.2% from the field and 29.2% from three, not being capable of taking advantage of the extra 14 field goals they had against Nebraska. It was also a quiet night for the bench, recording 2 points in 44 minutes.

The loss drops Penn State to 0-5 in conference play and 7-9 overall, with Michigan State up next. It was a huge win for Nebraska as they were coming off of back-to-back losses and face Indiana and Michigan State next. Nebraska is great at home but has struggled to win on the road once again this season.

The Rest

#2 Michigan Wolverines 79, Illinois Fighting Illini 69

The Wolverines improved to 16-0 tonight after winning on the road at Illinois. The Illini hung around (with Michigan’s 11 first half turnovers proving to be detrimental early on), eventually narrowing the deficit to five heading into the half. Michigan opened it back up in the second half but Illinois never truly went away down the stretch. While the Illini narrowed the deficit to seven with 5:29 to go, they could never get over the hump and the Wolverines took care of business for a ten point victory.

It was a balanced attack for Michigan with all five starters reaching double figures and scoring 10 to 16 points on the night. Jon Teske produced an impressive stat line with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks, while Zavier Simpson led the team in scoring with 16. Michigan shot 45.2% from the field, but only 26.3% from three. They did take care of business at the line, making 18 of their 22 free throws.

On the other side, Illinois was led by Ayo Dosunmu with 23 points and 7 rebounds. The Illini actually shot better than the Wolverines, making 47.5% of their field goals and 38.9% from three, but they couldn’t get to the free throw line, shooting seven free throws compared to Michigan’s 22. They were also beat out on the boards, with Michigan out rebounding them 37-30 and picking up ten offensive boards.