The Big Ten had a fantastic slate of games on Thursday, highlighted by a ranked matchup between Purdue and Ohio State in Columbus. Fans also got to enjoy Indiana go on the road to face Iowa and Rutgers host Maryland.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers 71, No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes 69
Over the last few weeks, the hype around this game had been building. Purdue was atop the weekly polls, undefeated, and cruising through its schedule. Meanwhile, Ohio State had shown some flaws, but was building momentum as well. Add in a road environment and it seemed like a real opportunity for this one to be Purdue’s first stumbling block.
Unfortunately, much of that hype dissipated after Purdue fell to Rutgers at home on Monday night. It was a tough result for the Boilermakers and took some of the sizzle out of this one. Still, even saying that, this game still packed a wallop and the play delivered, as the two teams battled down to the closing minutes before Purdue grabbed the win.
The game itself was also competitive throughout, with the teams repeatedly exchanging momentum in the first and second half. Brice Sensabaugh was fantastic for the Buckeyes in the losing effort, finishing with 21 points and five rebounds. However, Zach Edey and Braden Smith combined for 32 points, which was too much for Ohio State to overcome.
Purdue improved to 14-1 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play with the win while Ohio State fell to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Boilermakers will hope to keep the momentum rolling on Sunday against Penn State in Philadelphia while the Buckeyes hope to rebound against Maryland on the road on Sunday.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 91, No. 15 Indiana Hoosiers 89
This looked like a trap game before tip and lived up to that billing, as Indiana blew a highly winnable game on the road against Iowa in this one. The Hoosiers were not only favored heading into tip, but lead by as much as 21 points in the effort. Nonetheless, Indiana’s underwhelming defensive effort (Iowa scored 1.2 points per possession) and the team’s late game mistakes cost the Hoosiers a crucial game in the Big Ten race.
For Indiana, there’s no spinning this game. While winning on the road is always tough, this is a game the Hoosiers should have won. Indiana’s a better team than Iowa and held a 21-point lead over the Hawkeyes. That’s just not a game you can lose under those circumstances, even in Carver Hawkeye Arena. The loss dropped Indiana to 10-4 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play. By every measure, Indiana’s going to be playing catch up in the league from now on. That effort
On the other side, Iowa improved to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play. It was the team’s first win since December 17th and ends a horrid three-game skid where Iowa lost to Eastern Illinois and by double-digits on the road to Nebraska. Fans will hope the team can keep up its impressive offensive showing in this one on the road against Rutgers on Sunday.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 64, Maryland Terrapins 50
The Scarlet Knights continued rolling in this one, building off Monday’s upset win over Purdue with another impressive win over Maryland. The game was largely over early in the second half as Paul Mulcahy led the way with 15 points. It was Maryland’s second straight loss after falling on the road to Michigan last weekend.
Rutgers improved to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play with the win while Maryland fell to 10-5 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Scarlet Knights will now prepare for Iowa at home on Sunday. Maryland will get Ohio State at home on Sunday.