The Big Ten had three games on Wednesday night, including an intriguing matchup between Michigan and a decent Buffalo squad. Penn State and Rutgers also tipped off their respective seasons.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 6 Michigan Wolverines 88, Buffalo Bulls 76
Last year’s Big Ten champions opened their season on Wednesday night, hosting a Buffalo squad coming off a 16-9 campaign and NIT appearance. Ultimately, Michigan proved too much for the Bulls and grabbed an 88-75 win.
Michigan dove deep into its bench in this one, with seven players seeing at least 16 minutes and nine players seeing at least seven minutes. Hunter Dickinson led the way with 27 points and six rebounds and Terrence Williams starred off the bench, scoring 15 points himself. There were points in the game when Michigan looked great and others when the Wolverines looked pretty beatable. Expect some growing pains as the season continues.
Michigan now sits at 1-0 overall. The team will return to action on Saturday at home against Prairie View A&M. The Wolverines will be significant favorites.
-Penn State Nittany Lions 75, Youngstown State Penguins 59
This marked the debut of Micah Shrewsberry at Penn State’s coach and things generally went well as the team scored a 75-59 win. Things were probably a bit more competitive than fans would have liked early on, but Penn State gradually took control with John Harrar leading the way with 16 points and 14 rebounds. It was a nice opening night win.
Penn State now sits at 1-0 overall. The Nittany Lions will return to action next Monday on the road against UMass. That should be a pretty challenging game.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 73, Lehigh Mountain Hawks 70
Whew. That could have gone better. Despite relatively lofty preseason expectations, Rutgers landed flat on its face in its opener, needing an overtime session to survive against a pretty rough Lehigh squad. Ron Harper led the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Geo Baker also finished with 12 points.
Maybe this is simplistic, but this is either a sign of things to come or a brief misstep in what will go down as a solid season. Unfortunately, we won’t know the answer for at least a few weeks. Rutgers will return to action on Saturday at home against Merrimack. That should be a win. Fans will have to hope the team goes out better than it did on Wednesday.