The Big Ten had two interesting games on the docket on Wednesday. Ohio State hosted a tough Rutgers squad in the first game and a revitalized Michigan team went on the road to face Northwestern in the late game.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Ohio State Buckeyes 72, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 66
If you watched the first 30 minutes or so of this game, you probably would have thought Rutgers got dominated in this game. The Scarlet Knights started slow out of the gate, were down at halftime, and seemed to be out of it. However, Rutgers led a valiant charge in the closing minutes and nearly forced overtime before a few missed jumpers allowed the Buckeyes to escape with a 72-66 win.
I said this before the game and still believe it now. This game was undeniably more important for Ohio State. The team only had 15 wins and had suffered a tough loss on the road against Wisconsin on Sunday. A win now gets the team to 16-8 overall and in really solid position moving forward. The Buckeyes will hope to keep the momentum going on Saturday at home against Purdue.
On the other side, Rutgers suffered another tough loss. The Scarlet Knights are still 17-8 overall, but have lost three of the team’s last four games and four of its last seven. Like Ohio State, things still look decent moving forward with three home games left on the docket. However, Wednesday’s loss will put a little extra pressure on things. Rutgers will be back in action on Saturday at home against Illinois.
-Michigan Wolverines 79, Northwestern Wildcats 54
Although Michigan started this one really poorly, the Wolverines had figured things out by halftime and never looked back. Michigan ended up scoring a 79-54 win at Northwestern to improve to 15-9 overall and to 6-7 in league play. Isaiah Livers led the way with 17 points and five rebounds. Eli Brooks also had 18 points.
Michigan will now head home for what could arguably be its most important remaining game of the season against Indiana on Sunday. A win there and the Wolverines will really help their NCAA chances. Meanwhile, Northwestern will prepare for a road trip to Penn State on Saturday, hoping to snap the team’s recent eight-game skid.