The Big Ten had 13 games on Monday to open the season. And while most of them were relatively lopsided, there were a few that got testy at times, including one that went down to the final minutes.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 61, Western Michigan Broncos 60
This was my Game of the Night in my preview and it ended up delivering. A short-handed Minnesota team ended up going down to the buzzer against Western Michigan. The Gophers remained in control, but could never pull away enough to get comfortable. Ultimately, they did just enough to grab a 61-60 win.
Ta’Lon Cooper led the way with 17 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. Dawson Garcia also stepped up with 23 points. The win pushed Minnesota to 1-0. The team will return to action on Friday at home against St. Francis. Fans will hope Jamison Battle is ready to play in that one.
-No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini 87, Eastern Illinois Panthers 57
This looked like a lopsided affair heading in and ended up that way, as Illinois cruised to a 30-point win over Eastern Illinois to improve to 1-0 on the season. Coleman Hawkins led the way with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists. Newcomer Terrence Shannon also had 24 points and eight rebounds. Illinois will now prepare for UMKC at home on Friday.
-No. 13 Indiana Hoosiers 88, Morehead State Eagles 53
The Hoosiers cruised to an easy win in this one thanks to 15 points from Trayce Jackson-Davis and 15 points from freshman Malik Reneau. It was a nice debut for what many consider to be the Big Ten preseason favorite. The Hoosiers now sit at 1-0 and will prepare for Bethune Cookman at home on Thursday in what figures to be another easy win.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 89, Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 58
The Hawkeyes have a long history of playing underwhelming non-conference opponents under Fran McCaffery and that continued on Monday night as Iowa steamrolled an over matched opponent. The game was over early on and Iowa got to unload its bench. Filip Rebraca led the way with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Perkins also had a nice performance with 16 points and five assists. Iowa will now get North Carolina A&T at home on Friday, hoping to advance to 2-0 on the season.
-Maryland Terrapins 71, Niagara Purple Eagles 49
This one was a little closer than fans would have liked at halftime, but Maryland was eventually able to pile it on and cruise to a 71-49 win. Donta Scott led things with 18 points and six rebounds. Jahmir Young also contributed with 14 points and seven rebounds. The win pushed the Terps to 1-0 overall. The team will return to action on Thursday at home against Western Carolina.
-No. 22 Michigan Wolverines 75, Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons 56
The Wolverines were another team with a nice debut. Michigan pulled away in the first half and never looked back, cruising to a 19-point win over the Mastodons. Hunter Dickinson led the way with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Jett Howard also had a big performance with 21 points and five assists. Michigan will now prepare for a neutral site game against Eastern Michigan in Detroit on Friday.
-Michigan State Spartans 73, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 55
The biggest question hanging over this one was whether Jaden Akins would be healthy enough to see action. Fortunately for Spartan fans, Akins was able to get on the floor. He played a relatively quiet 16 minutes and finished with six points. Joey Hauser was the team’s biggest contributor, finishing with 18 points in the lopsided win. Michigan State will now get a few days off before facing off against Gonzaga in San Diego on Friday.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 79, Maine Black Bears 66
This one ended up being a tad closer than fans would have hoped thanks to a big performance from Gedi Juozapaitis, but Nebraska was eventually able to pull away. Sam Griesel led the way for the Huskers with 22 points. Keisei Tominaga also contributed with 19 points and two rebounds. The win pushed Nebraska to 1-0 as the team prepares for a matchup against Omaha on Thursday at home.
-Northwestern Wildcats 85, Chicago State Cougars 54
The Wildcats cruised to a 31-point win in this one, over a thoroughly overmatched Chicago State team. Robbie Beran led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds. The team’s defense also stood out, holding the Cougars to an underwhelming 0.76 points per possession. Northwestern improved to 1-0 with the win and will now prepare for another home game against Northern Illinois on Friday.
-Ohio State Buckeyes 91, Robert Morris Colonials 53
The Buckeyes showed out well in this one, cruising to a massive win at home to open up their season. Justice Sueing made a huge impact in the win, finishing with 20 points and two rebounds. Zed Key also had a big night with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ohio State will hope to keep things rolling on Thursday at home against Charleston Southern.
-Penn State Nittany Lions 93, Winthrop Eagles 68
The Nittany Lions opened with a dominant win on Monday night thanks to 50 combined points from Andrew Funk and Jalen Pickett. The two were dynamite throughout. The win was actually so dominant it pushed Penn State up eight spots on KenPom. The team now sits at 1-0 and will prepare for a matchup against Loyola (Maryland) at home on Thursday.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 75, Columbia Lions 35
It’s hard to find much to write about a 40-point win over an inferior opponent and that’s the case here, as Rutgers scored an easy win over Columbia at home on Monday night. The team’s defense was fantastic, holding Columbia to a dreadful 0.47 points per possession. Cam Spencer led the way for the Scarlet Knights with 17 points and five assists. Rutgers will return to action on Thursday at home against Sacred Heart.
-Wisconsin Badgers 85, South Dakota Coyotes 59
Not much to complain about here for the Badgers as the team scored a 26-point win at home over South Dakota. Tyler Wahl led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Wisconsin will return to action on Friday against Stanford in Milwaukee. That should be a fun one.