The Big Ten had three games on Wednesday night, highlighted by a conference battle between Michigan State and Penn State. Ranked Indiana and Purdue squads were also in action.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan State Spartans 67, Penn State Nittany Lions 58
This was quietly one of the better games on the college basketball slate this week, as a hot Penn State team hosted a struggling Spartan squad. The game had significant ramifications for both sides and played out that way, going down to the final minutes. Ultimately, Michigan State grabbed a 67-58 win. AJ Hoggard led the way with 23 points and Joey Hauser finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
For Michigan State, the win pushed the team to 6-4 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play. More importantly, it snapped a two-game skid and a few weeks of underwhelming play. It gets the Spartans back on track and gives them an opportunity to “reset” their season over the next few weeks as the team wraps up non-conference play.
On the other side, Penn State fell to 6-3 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. It was a major missed opportunity for the squad, as the Nittany Lions were favored heading into tip, were playing at home, and took an early lead. In fact, KenPom gave Penn State an 85.9 percent chance to win the game with roughly nine minutes left in the first half. If Penn State hopes to make the NCAA Tournament, these are games it needs to close.
Michigan State will now prepare for Brown at home on Saturday. Penn State will get a really good Illinois squad on the road on Saturday.
-No. 14 Indiana Hoosiers 81, Nebraska Cornhuskers 65
A few weeks ago, this game didn’t look particularly intriguing. However, after a few monster wins for Nebraska, many were circling this one as an interesting test for the Hoosiers, particularly given Indiana’s loss to Rutgers over the weekend.
Fortunately for Hoosier fans, things would come much easier for Indiana on Wednesday night than last weekend. Indiana cruised to an early lead and used that en route to an 81-65 win. Nebraska did enough to avoid a blowout, but did give up 1.12 points per possession. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the way with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Indiana improved to 8-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play while Nebraska fell to 6-1 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers will now prepare for a massive game against Arizona on Saturday in Las Vegas. Nebraska will hope to rebound against Purdue at home on Saturday. It’s a major opportunity for the Huskers to add another marquee win.
-No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers 89, Hofstra Pride 66
While the name of the opponent doesn’t suggest it, this was a sneakily good resume win for the Boilers on Wednesday. Hofstra is a top 130 team on KenPom and entered the clash with a 6-3 record with multiple solid wins. At this point, Purdue has more than enough quality wins, but adding another never hurts. Zach Edey led the way with 23 points and 18 rebounds. Braden Smith also had 13 points.
The Boilermakers improved to 9-0 overall with the win. The team will now prepare for a road test against Nebraska on Saturday. It’s Purdue’s second true road game of the season.