The Big Ten had three games on Wednesday, highlighted by a neutral site matchup between Northwestern and Arizona State in Phoenix. Iowa and Nebraska also hosted mid-majors, as they looked to grab wins.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Northwestern Wildcats 65, Arizona State Sun Devils 46
After a wild couple of weeks, nobody was sure what to expect out of Northwestern as the Wildcats headed west for a de facto road game against Arizona State. While Northwestern looked like the better team (at least on paper), winning on the road is tough. Adding in the leftovers of a horrible loss to Chicago State a week earlier and there were plenty of questions.
Fortunately for Wildcat fans, Northwestern took care of business. The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Boo Buie led the way with 22 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Brooks Barnhizer also had 16 points. Northwestern’s defense impressed as well, holding Arizona State to just 46 total points and 0.71 points per possession.
Northwestern improved to 9-2 overall with the win and fans have to be pretty happy about where the team is through 11 games. There have been missteps, but the Wildcats have several quality wins, including a win over No. 1 Purdue. That’s not exactly what Wildcat fans are used to seeing. The team will get a week off before returning to action at home against Jackson State on December 29th. The Wildcats will be significant favorites.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 103, UMBC Retrievers 81
This was an absolute blowout, as Iowa cruised to another easy win over a flawed opponent at home. Tony Perkins led the way with 23 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Payton Sandfort also had 18 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Iowa improved to 7-5 overall with the win. The Hawkeyes will also get a week off before returning to action on December 29th at home against Northern Illinois.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 83, North Dakota Fighting Hawks 75
This was a bit closer than expected, as North Dakota actually won the first half. Fortunately for Husker fans, Nebraska bounced back as the teams approached the final buzzer and was able to grab the win. CJ Wilcher had 16 points off the bench and five other Huskers finished with double-digits. The team’s defense was the trouble spot, as Nebraska allowed 1.10 points per possession.
Nebraska improved to 10-2 overall with the win. This is another fanbase that has to be happy about where the team is through 12 games. The Huskers have multiple quality wins and have avoided any bad losses. Nebraska will hope to keep that going next week at home against South Carolina State on December 29th.