The Big Ten had a decent slate on Saturday, highlighted by marquee matchups for Nebraska and Northwestern. Minnesota and Rutgers were also in action.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Northwestern Wildcats 72, Rhode Island Rams 61
The Wildcats entered Saturday as one of the league’s few unbeatens and hoped to keep things rolling against the Rams. Northwestern was favored, but most figured the team would have to put in some work to grab the win. That proved to be true, as the Wildcats needed a strong second half effort to hold onto the win. Brooks Barnhizer led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds.
The win pushed Northwestern to 4-0 on the season and will set the Wildcats up with an intriguing matchup against a really solid Mississippi State team on Sunday. KenPom expects Northwestern to fall short in that one, but that assumes the Wildcats will play how they have so far this season. The team still feels like it has an extra gear it hasn’t activated yet. We’ll have to wait and see if it can do so on Sunday.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 67, USC Upstate Spartans 53
The Gophers lost a tough one on Thursday night to Missouri, completely collapsing in the closing minutes to allow the Tigers to escape with a win. Fans were hoping Minnesota could rebound on Saturday with a much easier opponent in USC Upstate. Fortunately, the team got the job done thanks to 14 points and six rebounds from Dawson Garcia.
Minnesota now finds itself sitting at 3-1 overall. The team will now prepare for another winnable game on Tuesday at home against Arkansas Pine Bluff.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 84, Oregon State Beavers 63
The Huskers entered this one with a perfect 4-0 record, but the team had yet to face anyone of note. While that only partially changed on Saturday, Nebraska impressed with a lopsided win over Oregon State. The game was largely over by the opening minutes of the second half. Brice Williams led the way for Nebraska with 25 points and three rebounds.
Nebraska improved to 5-0 with the win and will now prepare for an intriguing home matchup against Duquesne on Wednesday. It’s expected to be the team’s toughest game to date.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 85, Howard Bison 65
The Scarlet Knights scored a fourth straight win on Saturday, knocking off another underwhelming opponent. Rutgers used solid defense to grab the victory, holding the Bison to just 0.89 points per possession. Derek Simpson led the way offensively, with 23 points and four assists. The team will now prepare for a return to action after a week off on November 27th at home against Saint Peter’s. KenPom favors the Scarlet Knights.