The Big Ten had five teams in action on Black Friday and generally got pretty good results. Teams like Michigan State and Penn State fell short against tough opponents, but the league otherwise held serve.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 6 Baylor Bears 75, Michigan State Spartans 58
Michigan State entered this game as a sizable underdog and largely lived up to expectation, struggling against a loaded Bears squad. The Spartans struggled to contain Baylor’s backcourt and got little from the team’s role players on offense. Outside of Jaden Akins and Gabe Brown, nobody did much offensively for Michigan State.
It’s hard to take much positively from a 19-point loss, but it’s hard to complain about how things went for the Spartans this week. The team went 2-1 and beat two top 40 opponents, including a win over a ranked UConn squad. Falling to Baylor is disappointing, but a loss to a team like that shouldn’t be a reason for concern. Michigan State is still progressing.
The Spartans now sit at 5-2 with the loss and will hope to bounce back on Wednesday at home against Louisville. Michigan State should be favored in that matchup.
-No. 14 Illinois Fighting Illini 94, UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros 85
It’s hard to feel great about this result. Though Illinois played shorthanded, it let a pretty rough UT Rio squad hang around on Friday night, only pulling away in the closing minutes. Kofi Cockburn scored 38 points and had 10 rebounds, but Illinois needed just about every one of them to pull away with the win, which isn’t exactly encouraging.
The good news is Illinois did get the win, improving to 4-2 overall. Brad Underwood and his staff will now get a few days to regroup before facing Notre Dame at home on Monday. Illinois needs a better effort in that one to avoid a loss.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 85, Portland State Vikings 51
This was total domination from start to finish. Keegan Murray outscored Portland State for a good portion of the game and finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in the win. Kris Murray also had a good day off the bench with 13 points.
Iowa now sits at 6-0 and will prepare for a road game against Virginia on Monday night. It’s the team’s first came against a top 190 opponent since season’s tip. It should be a good look at how good Iowa could be this season.
-No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers 97, Nebraska Omaha Mavericks 40
This was another lopsided affair. Purdue jumped out to a 52-17 lead at halftime and ended up scoring a 56-point win when all was said and done. The halftime lead was the third-largest in program history and the total margin was sixth-largest in school history. Zach Edey led the way with 20 points and six rebounds.
Purdue now sits at 6-0 overall and will get Florida State at home on Tuesday. Expect a tough matchup, but a win for the Boilermakers.
-LSU Tigers 68, Penn State Nittany Lions 63 (OT)
After Penn State’s struggles earlier in the year, it was hard to see the team going into a neutral court and beating a team as talented as LSU. And while Penn State wasn’t quite able to get the job done, the team acquitted itself well, narrowly losing in overtime. Penn State’s defense held up and the team got enough from Sam Sessoms to stay in it offensively.
With the loss, Penn State dropped to 3-2 overall and will return to action on Saturday in Florida.