The Big Ten had three scheduled games on Saturday, including a marquee showdown in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, the game between Michigan and Michigan State was postponed, but fans did get to see Purdue battle Penn State and Rutgers host Nebraska.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers 74, Penn State Nittany Lions 67
For serious segments of Saturday’s game, it looked like Penn State might pull off the upset and take down a top five Purdue squad. Unfortunately for Nittany Lion fans, that wouldn’t end up happening as the Boilermakers got enough key plays down the stretch to avoid another tough loss. Trevion Williams led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds. Sasha Stefanovic also had 13 points, six assists, and three rebounds.
Purdue improved to 13-2 overall and 2-2 with the win. And while it’s hard to feel great about the team’s performance, it’s also hard to criticize it too much as well. Penn State is a respectable squad that was coming off a win over Indiana and Purdue still got the job done. Winning isn’t always pretty and Purdue showed that on Saturday.
On the other side, Penn State fell to 7-6 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play with the loss. It’s going to be a tough one for fans to stomach as the Nittany Lions played well enough to win, but let the Boilers off the hook. Still, the team’s overall resume isn’t bad. Bounce back and people will forget about this missed opportunity.
Moving forward, Purdue will go on the road to face Michigan on Tuesday while Penn State will get Rutgers at home on the same day. Both should be tight games.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 93, Nebraska Cornhuskers 65
There were a lot of reasons for Scarlet Knight fans to be worried about this one. Rutgers was coming off a physical game against Michigan on Tuesday and seemed poised for a letdown against a desperate Nebraska squad. However, those worries wouldn’t actualize, as Rutgers cruised to a 28-point win over the Huskers. Ron Harper led the way with 29 points.
With the win, Rutgers improved to 9-5 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play. The Scarlet Knights have now won four in a row and five of the team’s last six games. Rutgers has also been particularly great at home, winning six straight there. The team will now prepare for a road trip against Penn State on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Nebraska will hope to rebound at home against Illinois on Tuesday. Don’t hold your breath on that one.