The Big Ten had five teams in action on Saturday and ended up with some mixed results. Maryland, Penn State, and Rutgers faced off against quality opponents and Indiana and Nebraska hosted buy opponents.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Louisville Cardinals 63, Maryland Terrapins 55
It’s bee a tumultuous first few weeks for the Terps so far this season. We’ve seen a lot of different versions of Maryland so far. It’s why the team lost to George Mason, but turned around and beat Richmond a few days ago. You never know what you’re going to get.
Unfortunately, this looked a lot more like the George Mason-version of Maryland on Saturday as the Terps fell short against a solid Louisville squad. The game was competitive, but Maryland faded in the final 10 minutes of action and struggled to score all day. Only Fatts Russell and Donta Scott finished with double-digits and both had offensive ratings well below 100. It wasn’t perfect.
Maryland fell to 5-2 with the loss and will now head home to prepare for a crucial game against Virginia Tech on Wednesday. It’s still too early to make any bold proclamations about this group, but this season could spiral quickly if the team doesn’t get back on track against the Hokies.
-Indiana Hoosiers 90, Marshall Thundering Herd 79
Another underwhelming opponent and another double-digit win for Indiana in this one. Marshall already faced an uphill battle, but Trayce Jackson-Davis made it even worse when he decided to go off for a career night. The Hoosier big man finished with an incredible 43 points and five rebounds. It genuinely might have been the most impressive performance for any individual Big Ten player so far this season.
Indiana improved to a perfect 6-0 with the win and will now prepare for Syracuse on the road on Tuesday night. It should be the team’s toughest test to date.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 83, South Dakota Coyotes 70
The Huskers notched the team’s fourth straight win on Saturday against an overmatched South Dakota squad. Keisei Tominaga led the way off the bench with 23 points. The win pushed Nebraska to 5-2 overall. The team will now prepare for North Carolina State on the road on Wednesday. It figures to be one of Nebraska’s toughest games so far this year.
-Penn State Nittany Lions 60, Oregon State Beavers 45
For the third time this season, Penn State faced off against a quality opponent. However, unlike the two earlier games, the Nittany Lions came out on top in this one, beating what the computers think is a respectable Oregon State team by 15 points. Jalen Pickett led the way with 14 points and seven assists. Seth Lundy and Myles Dread also finished with double-digits.
Penn State now sits at 4-2 and will return home. The Nittany Lions will get Miami (FL) at home on Wednesday night in what figures to be a winnable game.
-Massachusetts Minutemen 85, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 83
This was a tough one for Scarlet Knight fans. Despite controlling most of the game and having a 93 percent in-game odds to win with just three minutes remaining, Rutgers lost the game on a buzzer-beater from Noah Fernandes. Surprisingly, it was Rutgers’ defense that was problematic in the loss, giving up 1.23 points per possession to UMass.
Rutgers dropped to 3-3 with the loss and fans are officially getting uncomfortable. Losing to DePaul on the road was one thing, but Rutgers has now lost three straight, with all three opponents ranked outside the top 100 on KenPom. The team desperately needs to get back on the right track on Tuesday at home against Clemson. We’ll have to wait and see if they can get the job done.