There were three Big Ten games on Tuesday and two of them ended in exciting fashion. Let’s take a look at what happened last night.
Games of the Night
#15 Purdue Boilermakers 48, Indiana Hoosiers 46
It wasn’t a pretty win, but there’s always something about a close game between Purdue and Indiana. And when I say it wasn’t pretty, that’s not an exaggeration. The Boilermakers shot 31.7% from the field, 20% from three on 30 attempts and 44.4% from the line. Big Ten star Carsen Edwards went 4 of 24 from the field and missed all of his 10 three pointers. On the opposite side of the court, Indiana shot 27.3%, 20% on 25 three pointers and 61.1% from the line. The end result was an ugly 48-46 win for the Boilermakers.
Of course as bad as the game was throughout, Purdue fans will always take a win over Indiana. And as bad as Carsen Edwards was, he hit a key layup with 40 seconds remaining to give Purdue the lead. After Romeo Langford split a pair of free throws it was a tip-in from Matt Haarms with three seconds remaining that sealed the deal.
The tip-in offense was clutch late for visiting @B1GMBBall teams tonight.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 20, 2019
First it was Matt Haarms for @BoilerBall, then it was @BrunoFernandoMV converting the winning tip for @TerrapinHoops: pic.twitter.com/kvvK3ovbkp
The win was big for Purdue as it now leads to a three way tie atop of the conference. With five games remaining Purdue faces Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio State, Minnesota and Northwestern, which is a much more manageable schedule than both Michigan and Michigan State face. As for Indiana, they know sit at 13-13 and only one game above last place. With Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State coming up, things could get even worse in Bloomington.
#24 Maryland Terrapins 66, #21 Iowa Hawkeyes 65
The other game with an exciting finish, Maryland edged the Hawkeyes on their homecourt and escaped with a big win that keeps them within reach of the top three. It also keeps them a half game ahead of Wisconsin for now, which is huge because that means they’re currently in line for a double bye in the Big Ten Tournament. The loss more or less kills any chance of Iowa sneaking into the conference title race, though they still are in contention for a double bye, especially considering Maryland has a more difficult remaining schedule.
After holding a slim lead for a good portion of the first half, Iowa wouldn’t make a field goal the last 5:46 of the half and Maryland would close on a 9-3 run to take a 27-23 lead into the break. Maryland would open a double digit lead in the second half and looked to have control of the game, but a quick 8-0 run in the final minutes give Iowa the lead again with just under three to go.
The final minutes provided an exciting back and forth, with Maryland taking the lead with 25 seconds to go on a pair of Bruno Fernando free throws. Iowa followed with two Jordan Bohannon free throws, but Maryland made a tip shot to retake the lead. Iowa had a chance in the closing seconds, but couldn’t find a miracle after barely edging Northwestern and Rutgers on late game shots.
Iowa’s schedule softens a bit with Indiana, Ohio State and Rutgers coming up next. As for Maryland, they get Ohio State at home, followed by a road trip to Penn State and a huge game against Michigan in early March.
There’s been talk of Tim Miles being on the hot seat as Nebraska has fallen from a ranked team to 5-11 in the conference and now likely have very little chance of a NCAA Tournament appearance once again. The Cornhuskers seemed to bounce back a bit with home wins against Minnesota and Northwestern, but came out flat and got decimated at Penn State. Things could get dicey in the near future for Miles.
Nebraska actually had a pretty good night from James Palmer Jr. and Isaiah Roby, scoring 41 points on 15 of 30 shooting. But outside of 11 points from Thomas Allen, no one else did much of anything on the offensive side of the ball.
As for Penn State, they shot lights out from the field on their way to 95 points. Rasir Bolton hit 8 of 12 from the field and scored 21 points from the bench, while Lamar Stevens was 11 of 18 from the field and scored 29 points. The Nittany Lions shot 55.6% from the field, 50% from three, 87.5% from the line and only committed seven turnovers. It was by far one of their best games this season.
Things won’t get any easier for Nebraska now, with a real possibility of losing their next four games as they face Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa. The Nittany Lions will travel to Illinois this weekend before facing off against Maryland and Wisconsin next week.