The Big Ten had six games on Thursday. All of the games came against mid-major opponents at home. Every game was decided by double-digits. It reeked of trash day, i.e., taking care of a basic task.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 80, Ball State Cardinals 63
The Gophers were looking to add a fourth straight win on Thursday night and did just that, cruising to a 17-point win over the Cardinals. Mike Mitchell led the way with 20 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Elijah Hawkins also had a great game with 12 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.
Minnesota improved to 9-3 overall with the win. Only one of the team’s last four wins has come against a decent opponent (Nebraska), but it’s been encouraging to see the Gophers taking steps in the right direction. Notably, the team’s KenPom rating has jumped roughly 30 spots since the start of December, so fans have to be feeling good about things.
The Gophers will return to action on December 29th at home against Maine. It’s expected to be another lopsided affair. The team will then restart Big Ten play on the road against Michigan on January 4th.
-Indiana Hoosiers 83, North Alabama Lions 66
After a close win on Tuesday, Hoosier fans weren’t sure what to expect out of the team on Thursday. Fortunately, this one was a lot easier thanks to 25 points, seven rebounds, and two assists from Malik Reneau. Indiana improved to 9-3 overall with the win. The team will return to action on December 29th at home against Kennesaw State.
-Michigan State Spartans 99, Stony Brook Seawolves 55
Jaden Akins led the way for this one, finishing with 22 points in a blowout win for the Spartans. Michigan State improved to 7-5 overall with the win, as the team was able to unload its bench in the second half. Michigan State will return to action on December 30th against a surprisingly good Indiana State team at home. Expect a tough outing.
-Ohio State Buckeyes 78, New Orleans Privateers 36
This was a completely lopsided blowout, as the Buckeyes crushed New Orleans. Jamison Battle led the way with 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Zed Key also had 16 points. Ohio State improved to 10-2 overall with the win. The team will close out non-conference play against West Virginia in Cleveland on December 30th.
-Penn State Nittany Lions 72, Le Moyne Dolphins 55
This was another lopsided one, as Penn State pulled away in the opening minutes and never looked back. Kanye Clary led the way with 20 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Qudus Wahab also had 11 points and nine rebounds. Penn State improved to 6-6 overall following the win. The team will now prepare for Rider at home on December 29th.
-No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers 100, Jacksonville Dolphins 57
The Boilermakers added another win on Thursday thanks to 18 points and eight rebounds for Zach Edey. Lance Jones also had 16 points. Purdue improved to 11-1 overall with the win. The team will get a final non-conference tuneup against Eastern Kentucky at home on December 29th. Expect another blowout.