The Big Ten was supposed to have three games on Friday night, but only ended up having two after Wisconsin’s matchup with Grambling State was cancelled on account of poor local weather conditions. Fortunately, Indiana and Rutgers were able to move forward with their respective matchups.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 18 Indiana Hoosiers 69, Kennesaw State Owls 55
For the second game in a row, Indiana hosted an overmatched opponent and tried to get across the finish line without Trayce Jackson-Davis and Xavier Johnson. The game against Elon went smoothly, but Friday’s game against Kennesaw State was much tougher, as Indiana needed a late second half push to put things away. Jalen Hood-Schifino led the way with 18 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Race Thompson also had 14 rebounds. Fortunately for Hoosier fans, the team was eventually able to grab a 69-55 win.
Friday’s victory pushed Indiana to 10-3 overall and wraps up non-conference play for this season. The Hoosiers will now get nearly two weeks off before restarting Big Ten play on the road against Iowa on January 5th. It’s expected to be a challenging matchup, even if the Hawkeyes have stumbled over the last few weeks.
Overall, it’s fair to have mixed feelings about the Hoosiers through 13 games. While Indiana’s clearly improved from last season and should be in great position to make the NCAA Tournament, the team’s rough December and recent injuries will be major obstacles for Indiana achieving its primary goals this year. The good (and bad) news is a tricky, but manageable January slate will give the program plenty of room to prove itself.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 85, Bucknell Bison 50
The Scarlet Knights cruised in this one to a 35-point home win over Bucknell. Cliff Omoruyi led the way with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Caleb McConnell also had a big night with 14 points, seven assists, and three rebounds. Notably, Rutgers held the Biston to just 0.70 points per possession and 50 points on the evening. It’s the seventh game where the Scarlet Knights have held an opponent to 50 points or less.
Rutgers improved to 8-4 with the win and will now get a week off before wrapping up non-conference play next Friday at home against Coppin State. All told, it’s been a relatively productive non-con performance for the Scarlet Knights.