Game of the Night
Minnesota Golden Gophers 73, #11 Purdue Boilermakers 69
After a rough first half the Boilermakers made it a game in the second half and seemed to put themselves in position for a chance to send the game into overtime or win in the closing seconds after they seemingly forced a Minnesota turnover. But the reviews determined the footage of the ball hitting off of Amir Coffey wasn’t conclusive and Minnesota retained possession, icing the game with a pair of free throws.
The game was Purdue’s season in a nutshell, showing how problematic things can be when Carsen Edwards goes ice cold (7 of 31, 3 of 15 from three). Purdue hasn’t been very good at times on the road and that reared its head tonight. Ryan Cline had a big night hitting 6 of 9 three pointers, but couldn’t make up for the ice cold Carsen Edwards and Matt Haarms. If Purdue wins versus Northwestern they will still earn a share of the Big Ten title.
Amir Coffey had a big night, scoring 32 points on 8 of 15 shooting and 13 of 18 from the free throw line. Jordan Murphy had a double double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. The win likely puts Minnesota on the right side of the bubble for good. With Maryland coming up on Friday, a loss on the road to the Terps wouldn’t hurt Minnesota very much. It would likely take the bubble to shrink (with teams not likely to make the tourney stealing bids via auto bids) and a bad loss in their first Big Ten Tournament game to entertain the idea of falling out now.
#9 Michigan State Spartans 91, Nebraska Cornhuskers 76
The Spartans bounced back from their loss to Indiana tonight with a throttling of Nebraska. Led by Kenny Goins with 24 points, Michigan State shot 53.3% from the field and hit 50% of their 24 three pointers on their way to 91 points. Nebraska had big nights from James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr., combining for 55 points. Unfortunately for Nebraska, though, they didn’t have much help and the Cornhuskers couldn’t overcome an 18 point first half deficit.
The win for Michigan State puts them in a three way tie for first with a game against Michigan this weekend that will likely be for a co-conference title.
The loss was another rough night for Nebraska as they lost their fourth straight. Nebraska was once ranked this season but has gone 2-11 over their last 13 games. Nebraska will host Iowa to close the season this weekend.