The Big Ten had two games on a relatively quiet Wednesday for the league. Michigan State hosted Nebraska and Penn State battled with Northwestern.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
Heading into tip, this was a pretty hard game to project. Both teams had shown some issues, but were trending up before game time. Penn State was coming off a win over Indiana and Northwestern had narrowly lost to a really good Michigan State team on Sunday afternoon. It seemed like things would be tight.
And, generally speaking, those projections came true. The game was highly competitive and flipped multiple times. Northwestern controlled much of the first half and even got up double-digits midway through the second half. However, Penn State responded each time and came flying back in the closing minutes to steal a 74-70 road win over the Wildcats.
With the win, Penn State improved to 7-5 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play. The team’s offense continues to get a variety of contributions, including 23 points from Seth Lundy on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions will now return home to prepare for a suddenly huge home game against Purdue on Saturday. A win there and people are going to start mentioning the NCAA Tournament.
On the other side, Northwestern dropped to 8-4 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play. This one was even more crushing than the loss to Michigan State because it felt like the Wildcats were the better team for long segments of the game. The team will hope to bounce back on the road against Ohio State on Sunday. Obviously, the major goal for Northwestern needs to be avoiding any pressure of the rough start to Big Ten play. You don’t want things to snowball.
-No. 10 Michigan State Spartans 79, Nebraska Cornhuskers 67
This game was closer than Spartan fans would have liked to see before tip, but still ended as one would expect, with a double-digit MIchigan State win. Max Christie led the way for the Spartans with 21 points, four rebounds, and one assist. Gabe Brown also finished with 14 points and four rebounds.
Michigan State improved to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten play while Nebraska fell to 6-9 overall and 0-4 in Big Ten play. The Spartans will now prepare for a game against arch-rival Michigan on the road on Saturday. Nebraska will hope to bounce back on the road against Rutgers on Saturday.