The Big Ten had a busy night on Friday, with four teams in action, including Minnesota on the road to face a Pac 12 foe. Nebraska also ended up scoring its first win of the season after a horrendous start to the year.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-Utah Utes 73, Minnesota Golden Gophers 69
The biggest game of the night for the league went down in Utah, as Minnesota went on the road to face off against a quality Utes squad. Unfortunately for the Gophers, this one was over pretty early. Utah came roaring out of the gates and was in control throughout. While Minnesota did make a second half push, Utah grabbed a 73-69 win. The loss dropped the Gophers to 1-3 on the season.
Daniel Oturu had a big night for Minnesota, finishing with 21 points and 18 rebounds. It was a spectacular performance for the sophomore big man. Unfortunately, he was the only starter for the Gophers to finish with an offensive rating above 100. Marcus Carr had 15 points, but did it on 15 shot attempts.
This will be a tough one for Gopher fans to stomach. And not because this game in itself was terrible, but, rather, because the team blew three opportunities for quality wins over the last three games. Minnesota faced Oklahoma on a neutral court, Butler on the road, and Utah on the road over the last week. Even one win would have been a nice performance. Unfortunately, Minnesota dropped all three by less than 10 points. That’s some tough luck.
Minnesota will now get some time off before getting back into action at home on Thursday against Central Michigan. One would assume that matchup will be a bit easier.
After an embarrassing loss at home to DePaul on Monday night, Iowa get back into action on Friday at home against Oral Roberts. Iowa jumped out to a 14-point lead early and never looked back. All told, Iowa grabbed a dominating 87-74 win at home. Luka Garza impressed with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Iowa will get a few days off and will get back into action at home next Thursday at home against North Florida. The Hawkeyes should be significantly favored in that one.
-Michigan Wolverines 70, Elon Phoenix 50
This one was a bit sticky for Wolverine fans early on. Michigan couldn’t get things going offensively out of the gate, trailing 11-7 after 10 minutes. However, Michigan figured things out after that and eventually grabbed a 70-50 win at home. Jon Teske had another nice performance with 16 points and even rebounds.
Michigan will get one week off before facing Houston Baptist at home next Friday. Expect another game in the same vein.
After a horrifying start to the season that included two embarrassing losses at home, Nebraska finally got into the win column on Friday night. Nebraska hosted South Dakota State at home and was able to score a 90-73 to improve to 1-2 on the season. Cam Mack had a big night for the Huskers, finishing with 24 points and four assists.
Beating South Dakota State at home is never going to turn heads, but this was an important win for Fred Hoiberg and this program. Not only for the emotional value of getting win, but also because South Dakota State ranks ahead of UC Riverside on KenPom, who Nebraska lost to earlier this month. Obviously, that’s a good sign that this team is improving, even if it’s only marginally.
Nebraska will now have a week off before hosting Southern at home next Friday. A win there would be another encouraging sign for the Huskers.