The Big Ten only had three games on Saturday, but had all three had some intrigue. Maryland hosted a solid Vermont squad, Michigan went on the road for the Coaches vs Racism event, and Rutgers returned to action after a tough outing earlier this week.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 21 Maryland Terrapins 68, Vermont Catamounts 57
After two middling efforts this week, Terp fans were hoping the team could rebound on Saturday against a pretty solid Vermont team. While the Catamounts aren’t a powerhouse, they were ranked in the top 100 on KenPom and had just beaten Northern Iowa on the road to open the season. Maryland would actually have to show up to get the win.
Fortunately for Terp fans, the team got the job done.
Maryland started things slowly, but gradually took control in the second half and the team’s backcourt finally had a good outing. Eric Ayala and Fatts Russell combined for 44 points and each had offensive ratings over 100. Julian Reese also had a nice outing off the bench, finishing with seven points and three rebounds.
The win pushes Maryland to 3-0 on the season and sets up two more tune up games next week with George Mason on Wednesday and Hofstra on Friday.
-No. 6 Michigan Wolverines 77, Prairie View A&M Panthers 49
Michigan came into this game heavily favored to win and did just that, cruising to a 28-point win over Prairie View. Eli Brooks led the way with 15 points and three rebounds. Hunter Dickinson also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The win pushed to Michigan to 2-0 on the season.
Perhaps the only interesting part of the game was the location. This game was part of the Coaches vs Racism event this year, being played in Washington, DC. Michigan will now return home to prepare for a solid Seton Hall team on Tuesday.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 48, Merrimack Warriors 35
This one was ugggggllyyy. Both teams finished well below a point per possession and Merrimack ended up with a dreadful 0.60 mark. Something has to be said for the defense here, but it’s hard to describe this as anything but a slugfest. Rutgers’ continues to struggle offensively, though Ron Harper was able to get 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Rutgers is 2-0 with the win, but it’s hard to feel great about how things have started in Piscataway. The Scarlet Knights are going to need to improve significantly on offense if the team’s going to have a chance of doing damage in Big Ten play. We’ll see if that happens in the team’s next game at home against NJIT on Tuesday.