The Big Ten only had one game on Friday, which featured a matchup of two struggling Maryland and Nebraska squads. Fans on both sides were hoping their respective teams could break through and score a win to get back on track.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
Heading into Friday night’s matchup, both sides were amid some tough skids. Maryland had lost five straight and Nebraska was coming off a 23-point loss to rival Iowa on Sunday. Neither team had any real postseason hopes on the line in Friday’s matchup, but it was a game that could shape Big Ten Tournament seeding and each side’s head coaching prospects.
The game itself would actually end up being pretty entertaining. Both sides finished above a point per possession and Fatts Russell went off for 23 points on 18 field goal attempts. Eric Ayala also saw some time after missing the team’s most recent outing against Purdue, which was an encouraging sign for the Terps. Ultimately, Maryland was able to get the job done, grabbing a 90-74 road win.
Maryland improved to 12-14 overall and 4-11 in Big Ten play with the win. It snapped a five-game losing streak and puts the Terps in possible position to avoid the dreaded Wednesday slate of Big Ten Tournament games. Maryland will still have to gain two games on Penn State and one on Northwestern to get there, but it’s possible. The Terps will begin that effort on Monday at home against Penn State.
On the other side, Nebraska fell to 7-19 overall and 1-14 in Big Ten play with the loss. This projected as the team’s most winnable remaining game, so it has to be a tough pill for fans to swallow to see the Husker let another game slip away. It’s just the latest in what’s been a particularly rough run for the program under Fred Hoiberg. At this point, it’s hard to see him saving his job. However, we’ll have to wait and see. The Huskers return to action against Northwestern on the road on Tuesday.