The Big Ten only had two games on Wednesday night, but both ended up being pretty significant for the Big Ten picture. Maryland went on the road to face a feisty Penn State team and Purdue hosted a hot Illinois squad.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-Penn State Nittany Lions 78, No. 17 Maryland Terrapins 61
Coming into this game, few looked at this as a potential trap for Maryland. Even though the Nittany Lions had been playing well, most figured that the Terps would be able to go on the road and get a win over Penn State before a weekend showdown with Michigan.
Unfortunately for Maryland, that didn’t end up happening.
Penn State came roaring out of the gate in this one and cruised to an easy 78-61 win over Maryland at home. Lamar Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 24 points, five rebounds, and one assist on the evening. Myles Dread also finished with 17 points.
For Maryland, this is going to be a tough loss to swallow. The Terps had won four of five games coming into this matchup and really hadn’t underperformed since a neutral court loss to Illinois in late January. Maryland looked like it could be in position to get a top seed in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments. This loss is really going to negatively impact both of those goals. The Terps will hope to rebound on Sunday at home against Michigan.
On the other side, Penn State continues to rise. The Nittany Lions have now won three straight and five of the team’s last seven games. That run also includes two wins over ranked opponents at home. Quite a mark for a team that still doesn’t have a realistic shot of making the NIT. Penn State will hope to keep things rolling on Saturday on the road against Wisconsin.
-No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers 73, Illinois Fighting Illini 56
For quite some time on Wednesday, this one looked like it could cost the Boilermakers. Illinois was playing well and Aaron Jordan was making some nice plays. However, that wouldn’t hold as the Illini lost steam in the second half. Purdue was able to pull away and get another double-digit victory at home.
Purdue will now turn its sights to a home game against Ohio State on Saturday and the Illini will hope to rebound against Northwestern at home on Sunday.