There were two Big Ten games tonight, with both Michigan and Indiana looking to bounce back as they squared off with Minnesota and Northwestern.
Let’s take a look at what happened on Tuesday night.
Game of the Night
#5 Michigan Wolverines 59, Minnesota Golden Gophers 57
The Wolverines faced plenty of problems against the Gophers as they tried to bounce back from a loss in their last outing. Luckily for the Wolverines, Minnesota made plenty of mistakes and had their own issues to allow Michigan to pick up the W when everything was said and done.
Michigan had a woeful first half, shooting 31.4% from the field and going 2 of 14 from three while only hitting 57.1% of their free throws. In comparison, the Gophers shot 48% from the field. Defense proved to be critical, though, with Michigan forcing ten first half turnovers and keeping the game close. Minnesota’s offense fell off in the second, with the Gophers shooting 33.3% from the field and 28.6% from three.
With 9:12 remaining Michigan opened up a 52-39 lead on a 17-2 run, seemingly putting the Gophers away. However, the Wolverines would go cold after a Jon Teske jumper with 4:54 remaining, allowing Minnesota to rip off a 10-0 run to tie the game with 34 seconds to go. While Minnesota was able to erase the lead, Michigan was able to end the game in regulation with a Charles Matthews jumper that just beat the shot clock to win at the buzzer.
It was a rough night for the Michigan offense, with the Wolverines shooting 33.9% from the field, 3 of 22 from three and only 63.6% from the line. Ignas Brazdeikis led the team in scoring with 18 points, but nine points came from the free throw line as he shot 4 of 18 from the field. It was Michigan’s defense forcing 16 Minnesota turnovers and keeping the Gophers stifled on offense early in the second half that proved to be the difference.
The Hoosiers entered Tuesday night trying to end a four game skid.
Aaron Falzon had other ideas.
The forward came into tonight’s game averaging 2.0 points per game in three games, not scoring since his first appearance of the season against Chicago State in December. The unexpected star went off against the Hoosiers, hitting six of seven three pointers and leading Northwestern in scoring with 21 points. Falzon was hot from beyond the arc, while the rest of his teammates went 4 of 17 from deep and the Hoosiers went 4 of 21.
It was a rough night for the Hoosiers offense, shooting 38.3% from the field and 19.0% from beyond the arc. Juwan Morgan had a solid night with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while four other Hoosiers reached double figures.
The Hoosiers held a 20-13 in the first half before an 8-0 run gave the Wildcats the lead. Indiana would retake the lead, but a Falzon three with 2:39 remaining in the first would give Northwestern the lead the rest of the way. The Wildcats eventually opened up a 15 point lead before Indiana would make it a game again, though the Hoosiers could never quite get over the hump in the second.
The loss puts Indiana in a rough spot as they have fell from 12-2 to 12-7 over the last five games. Even their conference wins aren’t looking so pretty, with two point wins against Northwestern and Penn State, followed by an eight point win against Illinois. Now the Hoosiers have a three game stretch that includes hosting fifth ranked Michigan and traveling to sixth ranked Michigan State, with a road trip to Rutgers in between. Indiana is in desperate need of stopping the bleeding soon, especially with a remaining schedule that doesn’t get any easier throughout the rest of the regular season.