The Big Ten had a decent slate on action on Monday, with three teams in action. The highlight of the day was a late night matchup between Ohio State and San Diego State in the Maui Invitational. The game wouldn’t end well for the Buckeyes.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 17 San Diego State Aztecs 88, Ohio State Buckeyes 77
While the Buckeyes flew to Maui with an unblemished record, it didn’t mean all that much as Ohio State hadn’t faced any real tests in getting there. That made the team’s trip to Maui all the more important and interesting, as fans would finally learn something about the squad and whether it could make some noise in March.
Unfortunately, the early returns weren’t promising.
Although Ohio State was able to keep things competitive against San Diego State on Monday, the team wasn’t able to close the deal, falling by an 88-77 final score. Ohio State’s defense particularly underwhelmed in the outing, allowing 1.22 points per possession from the Aztecs. Sean McNeil led the way for the Buckeyes in the loss with 22 points.
Ohio State now sits at 3-1 and will return to action on Tuesday against Cincinnati. While the game will be played in Hawaii, it’s hard not to get excited for an in-state matchup like that. KenPom favors the Buckeyes. We’ll see if they can get the job done.
-No. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes 100, Nebraska Omaha Mavericks 64
This looked like a one-sided affair heading into tip and lived up to that billing, as Iowa rolled to a 36-point win over an overmatched Omaha squad. Kris Murray led the way with 30 points. Connor McCaffery also had 12 points in the outing. Iowa will now prepare for a trip to Florida to play Clemson on Friday.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 61, Cal Baptist Lancers 61 (OT)
This looked like a really even game and ended up going down to the wire, needing an extra session to be decided. Both teams struggled offensively and finished below a point a possession. Fortunately, Jamison Battle finally returned for the Gophers and scored 11 points on the night. It’s clear he still needs to get more comfortable, but it was a step in the right direction for him and Minnesota.
The Gophers improved to 4-1 overall with the win and will now face off against UNLV as part of the early season tournament on Wednesday. This projects as a tougher test for the Gophers than Monday night. The team will really need to hit the ground running to win.