The Big Ten had two games on Sunday and both ended up being pretty competitive. Ohio State hosted Penn State and Iowa went on the road to face Minnesota.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes 61, Penn State Nittany Lions 56
From a general perspective, this looked to be a relatively one-sided matchup. Ohio State entered this game as a significant favorite and everything suggested the Buckeyes would win. However, Penn State had proven itself to be particularly feisty this season, including in a recent matchup at home against Purdue. As such, there was some intrigue.
The game itself would end up being a good one. Ohio State controlled from the early minutes, but never got out to a big enough lead to believe it was over until the closing minutes. And even then, Penn State got some big shots to add a little pressure. Ohio State would eventually score a 61-56 win thanks to EJ Liddell’s 19 points and eight rebounds. Jamari Wheeler had nine points against his former team.
For Ohio State, this is a nice win to get back on track after the loss to Wisconsin earlier in the week. The win pushes the Buckeyes to 11-4 overall and 5-2 in Big Ten play. Notably, Ohio State now sets up for a decent stretch with three winnable games on the docket, beginning with IUPUI at home on Tuesday.
On the other side, Penn State fell to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in Big Ten play with the loss. It was an encouraging performance, but there are no moral victories in basketball. The team now gets a key matchup against Minnesota at home on Wednesday. It feels like a must win for the team’s postseason hopes.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 81, Minnesota Golden Gophers 71
For long stretches, this looked like it was going to be a lopsided Iowa win. However, Minnesota came roaring back in the closing minutes with a 12-2 run to add some drama in Minneapolis. However, Iowa and Keegan Murray proved to be too much and grabbed the win. The All-American candidate finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Iowa improved to 13-4 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play with the win while Minnesota fell to 10-5 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Hawkeyes will return to action on Wednesday on the road against Rutgers. Minnesota will hope to rebound on the road against Penn State on Wednesday.