The Big Ten had a fantastic slate of games on Saturday, highlighted by a matchup between Indiana and Ohio State on Saturday. Fans also got to enjoy a tough fought game between Illinois and Wisconsin in Madison.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Indiana Hoosiers 86, Ohio State Buckeyes 70
On paper, this projected to be a really tight contest. Both teams had similar statistical profiles and Ohio State had plenty of reasons to play with desperation after recent struggles. And that’s how things played out early on. However, a massive run before the half shifted the balance and Indiana cruised to an 86-70 win from there. Jalen Hood-Schifino led the way with 24 points, three assists, and one rebound.
With the win, Indiana improved to 15-6 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers are playing red hot and absolutely shredded Ohio State’s defense on Saturday night, finishing with 1.32 points per possession. Indiana has now won five straight dating back to a win over Wisconsin at home earlier this month and four of the games have been decided by double-digits. Hoosier fans will hope the run continues on Tuesday on the road against Maryland.
On the other side, Ohio State fell to 11-10 overall and 3-7 in Big Ten play. It’s been an unfathomably bad run for the Buckeyes since the calendar turned to January. The team is 2-7 over the month and 1-7 since a New Year’s Day win in Evanston. And that horrid run includes losses to Minnesota and Nebraska, who both rank outside the top 100 on KenPom. Ohio State’s postseason hopes are now firmly on the line and there’s no telling where this run could end with more challenging games upcoming. Buckeye fans will hope the team can turn things around next Thursday at home against Wisconsin.
This one may not have been pretty, but it was a tough game with some quality defense. Illinois eventually did just enough to grab a 61-51 road win over the Badgers for a season sweep. Neither team even finished with a point a possession and Wisconsin finished with a putrid 0.81 points per possession. Matthew Mayer led the way with 26 points and six rebounds.
Illinois improved to 15-6 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play while Wisconsin fell to 12-8 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten play. The Illini have now won two straight and six of the team’s last seven games. Illinois will hope to keep things rolling on Tuesday at home against Nebraska. The Badgers will hope to rebound on the road against Ohio State on Thursday.
This projected as a potential letdown spot for the Terps, but the team aquitted itself well, scoring a 19-point win over the Huskers at home. Jahmir Young led the way with 18 points, seven assists, and three rebounds. The win pushed Maryland to 14-7 overall and 5-5 in Big Ten play while Nebraska fell to 10-12 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play. The Terps will hope to keep things rolling at home against Indiana on Tuesday. The Huskers will hope to bounce back on the road against Illinois on Tuesday.
-Northwestern Wildcats 81, Minnesota Golden Gophers 61
The Wildcats cruised in this one, scoring a 20-point win at home against an overmatched Gopher squad. Chase Audige led the way with 24 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Boo Buie also had 21 points.
Northwestern improved to 15-5 overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play with the win while Minnesota fell to 7-13 overall and 1-9 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Wildcats will return to action on Tuesday on the road against Iowa. Minnesota will hope to bounce back on the road against Rutgers on Wednesday.