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11/25 Big Ten Recap: Purdue Upsets Gonzaga

Recap all the Big Ten action from Friday.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Gonzaga Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten had a monster performance on Friday, highlighted by massive games between Purdue and Gonzaga and Michigan State and Oregon. Other teams like Penn State and Wisconsin were also involved in interesting matchups.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-No. 24 Purdue Boilermakers 84, No. 6 Gonzaga Bulldogs 66

Through four games, Purdue had compiled a decent resume. The team was a perfect 4-0, but needed some dramatics to get there, including a comeback effort against Marquette as part of the Gavitt Games. In a lot of ways, it felt like a pretty shaky start. That made Friday’s game against Gonzaga particularly interesting, as it give Purdue a chance to prove itself against a nationally relevant opponent.

Fortunately for Boilermaker fans, Purdue didn’t just play well.

The Boilers dominated.

While Gonzaga jumped out to an early lead, Purdue had erased it by half and never looked back from there en route to an 18-point victory. Zach Edey led the way with 23 points and seven rebounds. Caleb Furst also had an impressive 10 points off the bench. Purdue finished with an impressive 1.25 points per possession.

With the win, Purdue improved to 5-0 overall and will now prepare for a matchup against Duke on Sunday. And while Gonzaga may end up being a tad overrated, there’s no devaluing this win. Purdue absolutely dominated and deserves a lot of credit. It’s a program win that could very well propel the team to big things in March. We’ll see if the magic can continue on Sunday against the Blue Devils.

The Rest:

-No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini 92, Lindenwood Lions 59

This was never really a game, as Illinois jumped out to a double-digit lead and never looked back. Skyy Clark led the way with 19 points and four assists. The win pushed Illinois to 5-1 overall and sets the team up for a monster matchup on Tuesday at home against Syracuse. The Orange are a bit down this year, so Illinois should have a great shot at grabbing a win.

-No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers 90, Jackson State Tigers 51

The Hoosiers cruised to the team’s second easy win at home this week, beating an overmatched Jackson State at home on Friday by nearly 40 points. Tamar Bates led the way with 22 points as the bench was highly featured. The win sets up Indiana for a colossal matchup against North Carolina at home next Tuesday. Both teams should be ranked somewhere around the top 10 for the game. Buckle up.

-No. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes 74, Clemson Tigers 71

This figured to be a relatively challenging game for the Hawkeyes heading into tip and lived up to that. The game had a few swings throughout and Iowa really had to work in the closing minutes to grab the win. However, Iowa was eventually able to get the job done thanks to 21 points from Patrick McCaffery. Kris Murray also had 10 points. The win pushed Iowa to 5-0 overall heading into a matchup with TCU on Saturday.

-No. 23 Maryland Terrapins 95, Coppin State Eagles 79

There wasn’t much to take away from this one. Maryland hosted an overmatched opponent at home and cruised to an easy win. Julian Reese led the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Maryland now sits at 6-0 overall heading into what figures to be a highly winnable game at Louisville on Tuesday.

-No. 12 Michigan State Spartans 74, Oregon Ducks 70

While not the Ducks of recent years, Oregon still entered this game with plenty of talent and in a relative home game in Portland. The Ducks would eventually push the Spartans to the edge thanks to 28 points from Will Richardson. However, Michigan State proved to be just a bit too much and scored a narrow 74-70 win. Joey Hauser led the way with 18 points.

The win pushed Michigan State to 4-2 overall and sets the Spartans up for a game against Portland on Sunday. Even in what should be a semi-road environment, it’s likely one of Michigan State’s easiest games. of the season.

-Memphis Tigers 73, Nebraska Cornhuskers 61

For the second night in a row, Nebraska faced a quality opponent and fell short by double-digits. Nebraska limped to just 0.92 points per possession in the loss and four of the team’s starters finished with offensive ratings below 100. It wasn’t a pretty picture.

The loss dropped Nebraska to 3-3 overall and won’t quiet Fred Hoiberg’s critics. And while it’s still early, it’s hard to see the Huskers being a viable Big Ten threat with the team’s efforts so far. We’ll see if the team can bounce back on Sunday against Florida State.

-Penn State Nittany Lions 70, Lafayette Leopards 57

The Nittany Lions scored a solid win in this one, improving to 6-1 on the season. Jalen Pickett led the way with 18 points and eight assists. It’s the program’s best start through seven games since 2019 and could continue with a winnable game against Clemson next on the docket on Tuesday.

-Wisconsin Badgers 64, USC Trojans 59

This was a really competitive game that repeatedly flipped during the second half. However, Chucky Hepburn and the Badgers eventually proved to be too much for the Trojans, as Wisconsin grabbed a 64-59 to improve to 5-1 on the season. Hepburn finished with 17 points and four assists in the win. Tyler Wahl also had 14 points. Wisconsin will now prepare for a matchup against Wake Forest at home on Tuesday.