The Big Ten had five teams in action on Tuesday night, including three teams participating in non-conference tournament matchups. Notably, Michigan State looked to bounce back after a tough loss to Virginia Tech on Monday against Georgia.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 3 Michigan State Spartans 93, Georgia Bulldogs 85
Spartan fans got to see a familiar face on Tuesday afternoon as Michigan State faced off against Georgia and head coach Tom Crean. Of course, Crean was previously an assistant in East Lansing before taking over as the head coach of Indiana for quite some time.
Early on, it looked like this one was over. Michigan State was able to pull away from the Bulldogs in the first half and it seemed like things would be easy. Unfortunately for the Spartans, that’s when Anthony Edwards went off for Georgia. He finished with 38 points and nearly brought Georgia back. However, Michigan State had just enough in the closing minutes to walk away with a win. Cassius Winston ended up finishing with 28 points, eight assists, and two rebounds in the win.
Michigan State will now get a chance to score another win on Wednesday in Maui against a rebuilding UCLA squad. The Spartans are clear favorites to come out with a win.
-Illinois Fighting Illini 117, Lindenwood Lions 65
There really isn’t much to take away from this one. Illinois hosted a Division II opponent at home on Tuesday night and came away with an easy win. Ayo Dosunmu led the way with 24 points and five assists. Illinois now sits at 6-1 and will prepare for a matchup against Miami (FL) on Monday night at home.
-George Mason Patriots 85, Nebraska Cornhuskers 66
After Monday night’s win over Washington State, it seemed like Nebraska might be starting to figure things out. Unfortunately, those feelings were short lived, as the Huskers fell against George Mason in the team’s non-conference tournament appearance on Tuesday night. Things were close initially, but George Mason pulled away near the end of the first half and never looked back. All told, Nebraska fell 85-66 to the Patriots.
Nebraska’s offensive production was particularly concerning in this one, as the team finished with just 0.88 points per possession against an underwhelming George Mason squad. Jervay Green finished with a 59 offensive rating. Nebraska will hope to rebound on Wednesday as the team will followup with South Florida on a neutral court.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 85, NJIT Highlanders 58
The Scarlet Knights were another team hosting an underwhelming opponent at home on Tuesday night and were able to cruise to an easy win against NJIT. Ron Harper led the way with 25 points and seven rebounds. With the win, Rutgers now sits at 5-1 overall.
Rutgers will now have to get ready for a really challenging upcoming stretch that starts with UMass on Friday at home. The Scarlet Knights really need to win that one.
-New Mexico Lobos 59, Wisconsin Badgers 50
For the second night in a row, Wisconsin has faced off against a beatable opponent and come up short. Wisconsin lost to Richmond on Monday night in the Legends Classic and followed it up with a loss to New Mexico on Tuesday. And the game was largely controlled by the Lobos, which makes it even tougher for Badger fans to stomach. The Badgers ended up finishing with an underwhelming 0.81 points per possession on the night.
Wisconsin will now return home and have a few days to work on getting better before the team travels to face North Carolina State on Wednesday night. Obviously, a loss there would really sting as the Badgers fell to 4-3 after Tuesday’s loss.